Who you callin' a MoFo!?
It's just VeganMoFo : Vegan Month of Food - during which I, and bajillions of other vegan bloggers attempt to blog every single day for a month. The complete list of all participants can be found here. I don't even think prisoners with nothing to do and 24-hour internet access could keep up with daily posts on that many blogs... but I'm gonna do my part to do some interesting posts for you all!
We have a lovely little apple tree, out behind our garage. I don't know what kind of apples they are, because the tree was already there when we bought out house. Whatever kind they are, they are totally delicious - great for eating, baking, and ... applesauce! Every year I bring out my inner homesteader, and end up making a few batches of applesauce. I make pies and eat some raw, but the applesauce is such an easy way to preserve the apples for the rest of the year. This box is our first harvest of the season... many more to come I'm sure.
Next stop, bring the apples inside and clean them up. Cut, core, peel. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who thinks these apples are delicious. Our apples are FULL of critters: worms, bugs, pill bugs... it's a very non-vegan task to cut through all these apples, and remove the buggies before eating them or cooking them. Over the years, I have tried so many different methods to reduce the bugs, all without any difference. Our neighbors two doors down have an apple tree with no bugs at all. Grrrr.
If you are interested in doing this at home, now is the time to get your jars and lids all cleaned and boiling in a giant pot on the stove. That way they'll be ready when you need them.
See here, my kitchen trash full of apple peels, cores, and buggy bits.
Fill a big (7 quart) pot with your clean apple chunks, about 3/4 + to the top. Add a little water. I add about 3/4" water to the pot (with the apples already in). Use your finger or a wooden skewer to make sure you haven't added too much water.
Turn up the heat to high, and stir occasionally until the apples are soft and some of them are starting to fall apart. This takes a while.
I like chunky applesauce, so I don't bother with a food mill. If you're a more elegant person, you can feel free to use a food mill at this point. As for me, I grab the potato masher and mash the heck out of my apples. Mash, mash mash. Until you've got applesauce! At this point, if you'd like, add some extra zing. I add about 3 Tablespoons of maple sugar and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir it well.
Bring it to a boil, which makes "big messy bubbles" (that's what my recipe says!). Turn down the heat, simmer & stir for about 5 minutes.
Carefully remove your clean jars and lids from the boiling water and fill them with applesauce and lid them tightly shut. If you have a canning funnel, you will be especially psyched. My friend JJTWH got me one, and I can't imagine how I ever did canning without it. What a difference!
Place the filled jars back into the boiling water and process (aka boil) for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove them from the pot and set them aside to cool. Ouila! Applesauce!!
It's a bit of a project, but it's a lovely way to spend an autumny day. Plus, it erases any guilt about possible apple-wasting (bad!), and makes me feel very industrious. Try it, you'll like it!