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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anti-recipe #11 more canning adventures - applesauce

SOOO last night I had planned this (rather smug, in retrospective) post about how incredibly simple it is to make and then can applesauce.

A breeze, really. So simple.

And how fun it is to involve your children (young one wash apples, older one cut apples with a butter knife, etc.)

And it was a cold rainy morning, perfect for such an activity.

But then the following occurred:

Set up child 1 to wash. She whines. She wants to cut.

Set up child 2 to cut. He whines. This is boring, he says.

Mama washes apples while smallest child attacks apples with the abandoned butter knife. Die apples. Die.

Mama cuts remaining apples, puts into pot. Starts the boiling.

As she cuts Mama wonders why the heck she feels the need to make jars and jars of applesauce as she just remembers NO ONE LIKES APPLESAUCE in her little family. Well, dada does. He can eat it. And homemade applesauce is better than regular.

Mama continues cutting. (No peeling. Just cut and cook)

Mama smells something funny. It must be the boiled over apples on the burner.

Mama keeps cutting. Pot #2 is now on the stove.

And then suddenly, the clouds part, the sun comes out and being a good Midwestern mother she feels this (almost resentful) compulsion to take the children for a walk.

She remembers to turn off the apples cooking.

45 minutes later mama and children retreat back into the house. Sun or no sun those mosquitoes are VICIOUS.

Apples are turned back on. Mama adds white and brown sugar. A little nutmeg and cloves (since she discovers too late she is out of cinnamon.)

Hmmm. Smells….


Mama investigates. Front pot, tastes fine. Back pot, tastes funny. Maybe it’s just the beer she is sipping on? (Because of course with the sun and the lingering humidity it is now ROASTING in her kitchen – beer is required)

She hopes for the best and keeps stirring.

No, in fact it smells burnt.

And, in fact, it is burnt.

Apparently one is supposed to turn the boiling apples down to simmer after reaching a boil. Hm. Shoot.

Apple pot goes outside (where it is still sitting the following morning)

Sauce that was somehow spared in pot #2 is quite tasty though. Mama prewashes and boils canning jars and rings and lids. Applesauce dumped in (rather messily because she cannot locate the nifty canning funnel thing she bought a mere month ago. It makes a really good megaphone apparently.) Wipe rims down. Close with hot lids and rings. Look up canning time required on blackberry – 20 minutes, not bad.

Water boiling. Jars in.

In walks dada. “Wow, its a million degrees in here. And, what is that smell?”

Welcome home, honey. Welcome home.

And today, I wake up and think. Hmm. Burnt applesauce in the yard. And a FULL BUSHEL left of apples to deal with....

Eh. They will keep for a few days.

Happy canning all!

Next anti-recipe post: Stovetop popcorn

Edited to add:
SO, I just went out to take care of the burnt applesauce. How does one dispose of 3 quarts worth of burnt applesauce? I decided to just dump it in the trash and take it right out to the garbage can on the street. Um. burnt applesauce, with skins on especially, looks uncannily like vomit. Which is what I almost did when I spilt it down my arm and onto my foot. The ew look is still on my face as I type. Ew.

Message here. Please don't burn your applesauce.


  1. Sweetie, you make me laugh! I am loving your anti-recipes. I remember that potato soup from Oxford days, and once in a while I make it and think of you.

  2. hi robin! nice to "see" you again!

  3. Oh, my! Love the editorial at the end. Good life lesson--thanks for passing it on! Applesauce is probably the one thing that would be worth it for me to can, bc my little fruit-addicts go through it like candy in winter. Maybe if I find an organic u-pick in this neck of the woods, I'll give it a try. Maybe applesauce will be the gateway drug for canning...


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