Today, Heather and I got together for what has become an annual ritual…making homemade applesauce by the gallon.
Heather’s done this for years with her mom and grandma, and for the last 6 or 7 years, she’s invited me to make some with her. We always use Lodi apples, which are kind of hard to find, and bless her heart, Heather and her family always round up enough for me to have some, too (I’ve proven to be no help in this area – turns out I have NO connections in the apple orchard business). After you’ve eaten this stuff, there’s no returning to the Musselman’s or Mott’s.
In the olden days (pre-children, or even just baby Luke), it was easy! We’d pick a day and spend the entire thing making and canning applesauce. We’d break for lunch, not worried about how much time it took. Now, it’s an event. There are 5 children 5 years and under: Luke (5), Norah (4), Bennett (3), Lucy (2), and Jack Henry (9 months). Oh, and then there’s this.
Both of us have switched to freezing much of it instead of canning it, because it takes so long to complete the canning process. And time is of the essence when you’re trying to accomplish this large a task with 5 small children underfoot.
We bought 3 bushels of apples to share this year. That’s a LOT of applesauce. Heather got started on a batch before we got there around 12:30, and then we went nonstop until 5:30 (only breaking to get the kids a snack or pick up a baby), and had about 2/3 of it done. Because Heather is a saint, she is finishing it tonight. When I left, we’d made about 42 quarts so far.
And the kids? The kids were awesome. No fighting until the very end, when Bennett hit Norah, so Luke hit Bennett (totally logical, right?). They stayed busy playing outside, watching a bit of High School Musical 2, playing a bingo game and Hi! Ho! Cherry-o!, and some kind of make-believe game where they all lived downstairs and there was never any bad weather.
Here are some pics from our day. I’m too tired to load them into the page, so just click on one to see it larger. (Heather – will you email me that cute one of Jack Henry with the apples when you have a chance?)