Fall is here!! Shayne and I went to the farmers market yesterday morning and were amazed at how quickly the harvest went from "summer" to "fall". There were corn stalks, pumpkins, and mums everywhere. And apples. We bought a half bushel of "mixed seconds" to make applesauce, then got fresh cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and apple cider. Mmmm....!
I love spring and summer, but I think fall is my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the cool mornings and warm days, seeing Orion in the southern sky, and the rush to put up the last of the fresh produce. I also love fall food; we start making the switch to heartier fare like beef stew, shepherd's pie, mashed potatoes, and thick soups. And, of course, there's applesauce.
Poor Shayne has been waiting since spring. I didn't make anywhere near enough applesauce last year, and we ran out around March or April. I caved and offered to buy apples out-of-season from Meijer, but then we both agreed that making and eating certain foods in-season just makes them more special. So we've been waiting. And waiting.
I bought an apple peeler-corer-slicer from Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday, and Shayne tested it out on the first few apples. What a nifty little invention!! I still peel the top and bottom of the apple first, and you have to properly align the apple on the spikes in order for it to get the entire core... But what a time-saver! Definitely worth the $15 I spent on it.
And by noon we had our first batch of applesauce in the canner. I got 4.5 quarts and only used about half of the apples. For a cost comparison, my applesauce costs about $1.33/quart to make. Musselman's is $1.96/quart. And while I haven't ever tried Musselman's, I can tell you for sure that my homemade version blows Meijer's organic applesauce out of the water. And mine is certainly nothing special, just apples, a teeny bit of water, and cinnamon. Cook, smush, mix, serve. Doesn't get any easier than that.
If I haven't had a baby by next Saturday I'll definitely be buying more "mixed seconds" for more sauce and apple butter...