During the busy season the kids and I spent hours and hours daydreaming about all of the homey things we wanted to do when life finally slowed down. We talked of trips to the mountains to find snow, painting our dreary dingy kitchen, crafting, going to the library as often as possible (ideally 2-3 x week), reading by the fire, having family dinner every night and making applesauce.
I haven’t pulled out any of the canning supplies since Jasper was a baby so he has no memory of steamy windows, long days going back and forth between boiling pots, the sweetly scented air and rows and rows of freshly filled jars. He’s been wanting to can something, anything, for a really long time.
So finally after a very long wait we found ourselves with some time again. Enough time to spend an afternoon gleaning boxes of apples from neighboring gardens and an abandoned farm!
Since the fruit came off some very neglected trees we had to work a bit harder coring out bug damage and cutting away bruises.It actually made the process richer knowing that we were transforming fruit that would have gone to waste into something we will treasure all winter long.
If you are ever making applesauce, using a Squeezo is definitely the way to go! I inherited this dream machine from my Mom shortly after the kiddos were born. As far back as I can recall we spent a long day every fall putting up sauce. My sister and I were charged with operating the smasher and crank. The most exciting job of all! What fun to pass the torch onto my own kiddos.
The great thing about the Squeezo is that it separates everything for you. After quartering the apples, steaming them on the stove until soft you just dump the hot contents into the funnel and turn the crank.
Out of one side flows warm shiny sauce and out of the other cores, seeds, skins and stems.
A friend stopped by while we were working and talked about using a peeler, coring the apples and then using a sieve. Oh my gosh. Canning is already quite the undertaking, especially with little ones. I can’t imagine having to do all of the extra steps!
My job was to keep everything else going. Apples chopped, pots on the stove simmering, watching the water bath, filling jars…. after orchestrating weddings this felt quite relaxing ;)
Steven was a big help too! We watched everyone bustle about from his safe perch a top the cat scratch tree venturing down occasionally to examine dropped apples and fallen lids.He’s definitely a keeper!
Voila! our finished product.An entire shelf full of gold.