Recipe: homemade applesauce
I ought to work harder to avoid ambiguous sentence structure because my last post apparently left some of you with the impression that it was… my last post of the year! Come on, folks – you can’t shut me up THAT easily. I meant it was the last time I would be posting “the night before a flight” this year as I don’t have travel lined up until January. I’m kinda happy about that. So no, that wasn’t the last post of 2010.
Guess who was back in California for the third time in five weeks? Sadly, the latter half of my cold came with me. But I have the cure for the common cold: sitting down to hot tea and hot soup with Grandma. Also – a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, I did both because the next morning I drove to Yosemite.
yes, that yosemite
This wasn’t a shooting trip in my mind, even though that’s essentially what I did while I was in the park. I schlepped my gear through the early morning darkness under a cold, steady rain to meet with Michael Frye (follow Michael on Twitter @mfryephoto or fan him on Facebook). We then both went and stood in the rain and wind, freezing our collective bums off. I call it professional development.
here’s where i tell michael that i’m ocd and a blogger who documents everything
lovely fall colors still lingered
intermingling of clouds and trees
I came across Michael’s blog a couple of years ago when I was looking for updates on Yosemite Valley’s dogwood bloom. The only people I trust when it comes to flower and leaf reports are nature photographers (I’ve learned that lesson ten times over), so I found his blog to be incredibly useful and accurate. He shares thoughts, critiques, and tips which I like. Michael also happens to be a damn fine photographer whose works you will find in Yosemite’s Ansel Adams Gallery. Better than that – he’s an exceptional
male mule deer – it’s rutting season
big-leaf maple branch
the moon after sunset
We spent about 11 hours in the field, 3 hours on the computers, aaaand I received a signed copy of Michael’s latest book Digital Landscape Photography. It was as dark when we parted that night as it was when we met that morning. My brain was close to mush, but I had a lot to chew on and to implement. I *still* have a lot to chew on and implement. I just wanted to share some of the quicker shots to process before the next thing steamrolls over me.
Traveling between Colorado and California has resulted in my own personal season-confusion. It’s fall – no it’s summer! No wait, it’s winter… and back to fall. At some point when Colorado was truly behaving like autumn in autumn, I had a hankering for some homemade applesauce on a tip from one of my girlfriends.
i grabbed what apples i had on hand
lemon juice, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel (not pictured: salt and water)
Everyone has their variation on applesauce and they don’t differ all that drastically. I liked that Elise’s applesauce had salt and lemon juice, because sweet without acid or salt can taste incredibly flat. I used a combination of organic Fuji apples and Granny Smiths. I love me a tart apple.
piling the apple quarters into the saucepan
adding the rest of the ingredients
I used a pot that was barely big enough to fit all of the apples, but refused to switch out and create yet another dirty dish (that day was rife with dirty dishes). Instead, I let the apples simmer and I used a wooden spoon to gently push the pieces on the top down into the pot as the lower ones cooked and broke down. Worked just fine.
after the apples have cooked, remove the cinnamon and lemon peel
mash to desired consistency
chunky is where it’s at
Anyone who has tasted homemade applesauce knows that it is worlds apart from store-bought applesauce. When you tell this to people in the know they always react with a “duh!”, but people who don’t know have no way to comprehend what they are missing. I served my homemade applesauce with some pork loin chops because of a Brady Bunch episode back in the day. I think Peter was trying to imitate Bogart and asked Alice what was for dinner. She declared, “Pork chops and applesauce!” Peter then replies, “Pork chopsh… and appleshaush. That’sh shwell.” Don’t get me started on how screwy the 70s were. The combination of grilled pork and homemade applesauce however, is golden.
pork chops and applesauce… that’s swell
from Simply Recipes
3-4 lbs. of peeled, cored, and quartered apples (use a good cooking apple: Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein)
4 strips of lemon peel
lemon, juice of (3-4 tbsps)
3-inch cinnamon stick
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar (approximately – depending on how sweet you want it and how sweet the apples are)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
Place everything in a large pot (one large enough to hold all of the apple quarters… ahem) over high heat. Cover the pot and let the contents come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and lemon peels before mashing the apples with a potato masher. I prefer mine to be chunky, so I don’t go crazy mashing the apples. Serve hot or cold.