Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Midnight Society of Applesauce

Who lurks in the shadows of the kitchen late at night, hunched over a bubbling cauldron? What is that intoxicating spicy sweet smell in the air? Why are all of the doorknobs sticky?

Ah, welcome to the the Midnight Society of Applesauce! You can find us peeling and chopping cheaply-wrought apples deep into the night, long after attention-demanding babies have retired to their cribs. Why do we toil into the wee hours, night after night, concocting these addictive brews?

Well when else do we have time? Applesauce making is a new hobby of mine, which is super convenient since applesauce eating is a favorite hobby of Joe's. Unfortunately, it takes several hours from peeling to canning, and it kind of has to be done without stopping; i.e., without baby. It's all worth it, though, because this tastes SO MUCH BETTER than the yellow goop you buy from the store.

We go through so much of it, so I don't make small batches here and there--I've been learning how to can my wares the old-fashioned way. I love for canning instructions and all of the great advice (and gifted tools) from across the street at the One Acre Homestead.

So far this year I have made around 7 or 8 gallons of applesauce (I've lost track because we've been eating it along the way and using it for baking), canned in quart-sized jars and freezer containers. I don't have any dedicated canning tools yet, other than the gifted funnel and jar tongs from my sweet neighbor, but they are definitely on my wish list for Santa this year. For those of you who haven't canned before, it involves packing hot sauce into a hot jar and then submerging the jars in boiling water for a certain length of time.

I like to throw some cinnamon in when the sauce is cooking. You wouldn't believe how great this makes the house smell.

Needless to say, after an evening in the kitchen with all this steam, my skin looks fantastic. Once removed, the cool air outside the jar does some suction magic and the jars seal. They make an awesome "PING" sound when they're sealed up.

A magic potion? A mystical elixir? Freakin' delicious? You too can strive to join our secret society...or you can be really nice and I might share a jar.


  1. Don't you love those "pings". Evidence of a job well done! There is nothing like the feeling of canning food - hard to understand unless you've done it.

    Do you use the handy-dandy apple peelers that suction onto the edge of a table? I bought one years ago to deal with my mother's bounty of fresh apples from the orchard and it has been a true life saver. Peels and cores as you crank the handle. You peel an apple perfectly in a matter of seconds. I think I bought mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

    Debbie -

  2. Although it is rougher/tougher running the cooked apples through the food mill, the best way for flavor and color is to just core the apples and leave the skins on while cooking. Saves peeling and gives added flavor.

  3. I am laughing so hard! Great post, girl! I've got one more bag of apples to work some magic with tomorrow or'd your apple butter turn out? I'm thinking of doing that with this last bag...oh, the possibilities! I leave the skins on then run the whole thing through the blender just before pouring it into the many nutrients in the peels (not at all because it makes it so much easier...NO!).