My husband prizes efficiency above most everything else. Couple with the fact that I cook a ton for our family of five, he encouraged me to give Amazon Fresh a try. I ordered groceries online in Virginia, but never had them delivered to me. He was right--it was worth a one month trial at the very least. I've done four orders in two weeks and I like many things about it, but one of the difficulties of ordering online is making sure I know exactly what I'm ordering. I take responsibility for my mistakes--I'm always ordering groceries late at night when I should be asleep, and I don't pay as much attention as I should.
That is how I ended up with not five Fuji apples but five bags of Fuji apples. Fifteen pounds in all.
My son Ben and I love apples, but...that's a lot of apples! I gave a bag to the neighbors and brought half a bag to our barn for the horses and ponies and riders, too. But that left me with three bags of wonderful apples that I did not want to waste.
What's a girl to do? I made applesauce.
I've tried it once before and my children, then just two of them and a lot younger, didn't love it. I was bummed and probably ate it all myself rather than throw it away. But I'm listening to (and loving) Michael Pollan's Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. The story of the book is how he's taking the responsibility for feeding his family back from the manufacturers and restaurants and placing it in his own hands. Early in the book he talks about how we rely on others to make food for our children, but we should make it ourselves.
The book is very inspiring, so I pulled our slow cooker out and starting peeling apples. I peeled a dozen, having fun while attempting to peel the entire apple without sliding my knife in but once. Twelve tries, I got it once. I sliced the apples, added 1/2 cup of water, and set it to low. These apples would cook for six hours; they would be ready right when my boys' baseball game (for the youngest) and baseball practice (for the older) finished. When we got home from our respective baseball diamonds--this simultaneous game/practice meant my husband and I had to split up, I'd add cinnamon, vanilla, and a little honey.
My plan worked even better than expected. The temperature dropped from mid-40s to low-40s while we were all outside, and while we ate an early dinner at home, everyone was a little hungry and a lot cold. The smell of my warm applesauce met us at the door. The kids showered and grabbed bowls, loved the fact that I added vanilla right to their individual bowls, and they ate it up. Cinnamon-y and rich, I was blown away by how much better this stuff tasted than the mash-ups my youngest son eats almost every day. (He didn't try my applesauce, but two out of three kids liked it--which is normal and fine for this first time!)
Like Pollan, I like the idea of slowly taking back the reins from those companies I outsourced. I'm inspired by his words and ready for his challenge: cook at home a little more than you do now.
Click HERE for the applesauce recipe I used in case you want to try it!