Linda here, just off the plane from a great family roots trip with my father. Hearty and strong at 87 yeas of age, we tromped though grave sites and Historical Society’s records to uncover what we could. We talked with older relatives, read through old letters, were guided by local historians. Much of the conversation happened around meal tables.
So it was that I enjoyed the best applesauce of my life this week. It was made especially for us by an 86 year old farmer relative. It’s flavor had both simplicity and spark – and immediately wooed me.
Apples are a fruit of the fall. and applesauce is easily made. And it can be amended to the tastes you/your loved ones prefer quite easily, by simply choosing tart or sweet apples. You can use your culinary wand and add traditional ingredients like cinnamon – or think outside the box and try adding red chili powder. You can also sway the texture this way or that, depending on how you thin or chunky you like it.
Here is Cousin Mary’s Applesauce Recipe. Play with it with a bit this fall as the abundance of apples is upon us, and make it your own. Enjoy the aroma as you work with the apples! Note there is no sugar in this recipe.
Ingredients (4 people worth)
6-8 Apples – sweet or tart or a mix.
Thinly peel about 6 or 8 apples (sweet variety if you like sweet, tart variety if you like tart); remove the core and cut each apple into about 6 or so pieces. Put the apples in a pan on the stove burner with about 1/2 cup of water, 3/4 cup if you like it thinner. Then cook this until the apples are soft but not too mushy. (They will turn dark if you cook them too much.) While apples are still warm, use any type of masher (such as a potato masher) and mash to the consistency of chunkiness that you desire. The apple sauce freezes well also.
Significantly, as she shared this recipe with me, she interwove how her deceased husband, enjoyed it, that he liked sugar in his, what he ate it with etc. Hardly a sentence went by without such a caveat. Which reminded me: Fall is a time when many traditions – all over the globe – remember their ancestors. Often a favorite food is set out by an alter, or even the grave of the person(s). Consider making a favorite family food tradition that a deceased loved one especially liked, and make it this fall. Smell the aromas, savor the flavors, delight in the color and texture of that special food that your loved one enjoyed.
She paired the apple sauce with home made Bacon Quiche.
One of the traditions near and dear to my own heart is beekeeping. I discovered that at least two of my great great grandfather’s kept bees. One also had fruit trees in a small orchard, and had seven hives. Upon his death, it appears that his widow obtained at least one of the hives, and his son another. I love the idea that she kept those bees – or maybe had been the beekeeper all along?
If you are interested in learning about keeping honeybees, there are a few spots left in Jaime de Zubeldia’s beekeeping class later this month. Here are the details:
Introduction to Natural Beekeeping – Saturday and Sunday, October 22nd and 23rd, 2016
Want to be a bee keeper but don’t know where to start? How about a full weekend of hands on instruction with one of the Southwest’s most experienced bee keepers? This two day introductory beekeeping workshop in Avra Valley just west of Tucson, Arizona will get you started.
Location: The San Xavier Coop Farm. Final directions and info for the day will be sent about a week before the date of the workshop. The San Xavier Coop Farm is located approximately 15 minutes south of downtown Tucson near the San Xavier Mission on the Tohono O’odham reservation. Time: 9AM-4PM each day. Cost: You must register for BOTH Saturday and Sunday. The early bird discount is $150 on or before October 2nd and $175 after that date up until one day before date of the workshop. This workshop is taught by master bee keeper Jaime de Zubeldia. To register by check, money order, cash, or on-line credit card follow the registration directions at http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/ or contact Dan at email@example.com
Dan Dorsey: Sonoran Permaculture Guild
Phone: 520- 624-8030