there's nothing like living in houston texas, for nearly a decade, to make one appreciate the splendor of the 4 seasons. when we were living in houston, carl's friend michael (of mike & patty's fame) once sent him an email in october that facetiously suggested he must be enjoying all the wonders of fall: bulky sweaters, apple picking, the rosy-cheeks of the school children...
it's still hot and sticky down there, well into october, but now that we live in the mid-west, we actually do get to experience these seasonal markers. for instance, on sunday, we went apple picking.
the trees were low, and easy for little ones to reach, but since the coveted jonathan variety was almost gone, we still got to do a little bit of searching, to find those precious few that remained. then we filled our bag with golden delicious, and red delicious, and topped it all off with a caramel apple from the quaint little country store.
we used most of the bag for applesauce, which we canned last night. cosmo went through so much of that last winter, i think we'll need to do another batch.
it is so simple: just cut apples in quarters, stick 'em in the biggest pot you can find, with a little bit of water. cook until soft enough to mash with a potato masher (stirring to prevent scorching), then run them through your handy-dandy food mill, to remove the skins and seeds. after that, you just ladle the sauce into the sterilized jars, add a little lemon juice on top (to prevent discoloration), seal the jars, and put into the boiling-water canning bath for 20 minutes. that's it. pure, homemade, nothin-but-apples-applesauce. yum.
we have also been gleaning the fallen pears from a lovely neighborhood tree. one night, we made a crisp, from the pears, plus some black raspberries we had from earlier in the season. it was heavenly. we'll probably try some pear chutney, or perhaps pear butter? any other pear ideas out there?