Tuesday, August 07, 2012

a2z Starts with A

Yes! a 2 z is starting up again today! I'm so excited! This is one of my favorite posts every week--it's a bit of a free-for-all for me. A time when I can post about anything I want...as long as it relates to the week's letter. This week, of course is the letter A.
Patterings. a 2 z meme
Me and a bucket of apples.
Welcome to the a 2 z meme!
This is our third round, and if three times is a charm, then this is the charm round. *eye roll* (I did mention free-for-all, didn't I? LoL)
a 2 z meme with Patty Wysong at Patterings.
If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Find more info about the a 2 z meme here.

This summer has been busy here. We haven't gardened for years but this year we did, changing my summer plans because a garden isn't just a garden for us, it's canning too.

Our oldest son took an interest in our orchard this year too. He did some research then set out to care for the trees. For the first time ever, we have fruit from the trees! A storm blew down a bunch of small apples and I was able to pick up three five gallon buckets of them. They were too small for anything except applesauce.

So, we sauced them. It was scorching hot and the thought of cooking down apples in my kitchen wasn't too appealing. My wonderful, out-of-the box thinker husband suggested pressure cooking them on the fish-fryer burner on the deck. He didn't have to say it twice!

After washing and chopping the apples in half, I filled my jumbo pressure cooker--it's only 16 quarts. ;-) In seemingly no time the apples were cooked. So much faster!

When Jim and I married, he was smart enough to invest our wedding gift money into a KitchenAid mixer and attachments. We've had one ever since.

My three boys, helping.

This was an all-hands-on-deck project because while we were saucing the apples, Jim was in the kitchen cutting corn from the cobs.

The KitchenAid attachment is great. Someone spoons cooked apples into the hopper thingie, they funnel down and are pushed through a through a sieve tube, squishing the sauce out one direction while pushing out the peels and seeds at the very end. Kids love watching it and helping.  But you do NOT need a KitchenAid to make applesauce! It's been so long since I've made applesauce that I did some quick research to refresh my memory before I started. I found a great site that gives alternatives to the KitchenAid. Click here for a great post about the different tools you can use to make applesauce.

Those three buckets of small apples gave us 24 quarts of applesauce that will be doubly delicious this winter.

So, when life dumps apples on you, sauce them!
*eye roll*

If you're joining us for the a2z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter A, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. This is also a blog hop, so go ahead and grab the code and post it on your site so others can join in too.


  1. Many times did I read of apple sauce and making it. Every time I was in the dark as to what it is and what one does with it. A few months back I received many packs - shop apples- of apples. Now I know what this is and am not amazed that people like to have it in the house.

    Wonderful to have those type of helpers, teenage boys. Certain lots of laughter went with this work.

    1. Yes, applesauce is one of the first foods we feed our babies. =] Yummy. When we lived in Ecuador, there weren't any apples grown there and we really missed them. It's the fruit most Americans will eat--even if they don't like other fruit. =]

      So glad to see you here, Retha!

  2. I love making apple sauce, but don't have a kitchen aid. I just do it the old fashioned way with a food mill - a hand operated one, LOL!

    But I do love the process and the finished product. I use crock pots to cook down my apples - that way I don't have to stand there and stir them and they don't burn. Then i put them through the food mill to remove the seeds and peels and then I'm ready to can the sauce. Big project - I'm green with envy because you have so much help. My kids are all grown and gone, but they love to come back and raid my pantry! Where are they when it's time to can it????? LOL!

    1. I remember making it with a food mill, Bonnie. Mom had one--might still have it--and I took turns with her cranking that thing. I thought it was great. =]

      LoL--yes, these guys are great helpers and I know I've got it good so I appreciate their help. They're not usually home, or they might be home for only part of the process, but that's okay. Help is help!! =]

  3. Ohhh, that looks so good! I can just imagine what your boys got into "helping" you with the applesauce. I'm just going to have to come out with my basket and offer you something in exchange for a pint of that ;) Do you share? =] I don't can....but I can BAKE! Hugz to you!

  4. What an adventure! Your applesauce looks yummy good.

  5. Yummy! I'm going to research this so I can make some for this winter. Thanks for the post!

  6. I remember Mom's fresh made applesauce still warm from the cooking over vanilla ice cream. It makes my mouth water just looking at your photos and remembering Mom's applesauce.

    Love your picture of the uncooked apples in the pressure cooker. And I'm glad to see YOU in there too.

    1. I'd forgotten about Mom's applesauce over ice cream!! But warm apple sauce, in her square cut glass dessert dishes, was the BEST tasting stuff!! yumz.

      I wanted to add food coloring to mine to make it pink, like Mom did, but I didn't dare because of the allergy thing we have going on now. =[ Oh well. It still tastes good. =]

      My picture? pfft. I added that even though I didn't want to--for Mom. LoL. My granny hat (as the kids call it) isn't the most charming but it helps ward off the headaches from the bright sunlight--and I had massive headaches that week. Applesauce sweetened the deal, for sure!!

      Yes, lots of memories of making it with Mom! So good!!! =] =]

  7. Alex looks JUST like his papa. WOW.

    And I have never canned ANYTHING. EVER. I'm clueless in Grand Rapids ;). But that applesauce sounds SOOO good!

    1. Yes, he's a carbon copy of Jim. Amazes me. LoL. =]

  8. How fun! I've made it by cooking the apples, then pureeing. Yours looks yummy!

    1. It really was fun! =] The boys especially enjoyed it. =]

  9. Yummy! We had a neighbor who made the most delicious homemade applesauce! I'd never had homemade before, and the taste spoiled me forever!
    Now to get up some courage and start asking all the folks around here with ignored apples if I can clean up their yards! : )

    1. Yes!! Ask them Niki!! A cousin stopped by and asked if we weren't going to use them if he could have the downed apples for his hogs! I went out, got what I wanted and them fed the rest to the stock. =]



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