Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Applesauce and memories...

This post is less a recipe and more a walk down memory lane. I made applesauce this week and it brought back a lot of fall memories from my childhood, especially of making applesauce with my mom. It was probably more like my mother making applesauce for us, as I'm pretty sure I was about as helpful as Seth currently is for me: moral support rather than actual knife work. Seth was perched up at the counter working on his homework, then over at the computer fiddling around; he came over for a few taste tests, but his interest in my "old style" way of making applesauce was minimal. Ah well. Such reminiscing is lost on the young...

My fondness for homemade applesauce is in no way related to how often I make it--I think this is the first time I've put it up in jars in probably a decade. Sad but true. But this year I knew I wanted to make some, being on the preserving path as I've been for the past month or more. So on a recent trek through the area of the valley where the apple orchards are, I stopped in and got a couple of boxes.

I told the lady at the stand that I was making applesauce and she thought my choice of a mixture of fuji and honeycrisp was a good one... I didn't explain to her, though, that I was planning on making "chunky" applesauce--what we called the kind my mom made, with the skins on, and the apples cooked through but not to complete mush. Well, the fujis went right to mush--I could tell they were going to as I was cutting them up. The honeycrisp stayed true to their name for a very long time!

Thus, I gave up on the chunky idea. I pulled out the old reamer that my Grandma Goerlitz used and got it set up, and churned away. Just using that old "machine" brought back so many memories... I was thrilled with how sweet the apples were all on their own, and barely added any sugar and just a hint of cinnamon before I packed it all in jars that pop, pop, popped throughout the evening. It was dark out by the time I finished, and chilly, too--it really felt like fall!

My chunky pot of sauce, prior to reaming.

Beautiful color, lovely applesauce! Doesn't that contraption look like something from outer space--or at the very least, the thing that launched the space capsule in Contact?

Look at this gorgeous piece of wood. It's so beautiful and sturdy--really gets the job done!

Seeing Grandma's reamer out again reminded me of a few other things I have of hers that I rarely use--like this grape trivet. The grapes are made up of bottle caps that have crocheted covers. How cool is that?

And this little covered pot is so sweet and little--about six inches long. I never use it, but I love having it around to remind me of her.

Grandma Goerlitz died in the fall of 1999, before Seth was able to remember her, but I try to tell him little stories every so often to keep her alive for us both--what she was like, things she was interested in. Like me at his age, Seth isn't so compelled by these stories, but I also know that over time he'll be more curious about these people who came before him, how they did things, what they might have in common with him.

Thinking about my grandparents who have passed brings some regret for being such a young and flighty thing that had little time for them in their old age... It's a good reminder to do that now, with those who are still with us.

1 comment:

  1. I have the identical grape trivet from Esther's collection of doileys and linens. They must have been a hot item back in the day.


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