Friday, September 19, 2008
A sign of fall... the apples are ripening. My boss brought a bunch from his tree into work this week. They were a pretty small, and judging by the occasional wormhole, very organic. Not the huge, shiny ones you find at the grocery store. My first thought when I saw them was "applesauce". So tonight was applesauce making night. I don't know how other people make applesauce, but I make it the way I was taught by my mother, who I imagine was taught by grandma. It's a totally old fashioned process. Quarter the apples, toss them in a big pot, skins, cores, seeds and all. Add some water to the bottom of the pot, and cook until the apples are nice and soft. Let them cool a little, then run them through the Foley food mill.
For those that don't know what a Foley food mill is, it looks like a pot, with hooks that grab the edge of the bowl. The bottom is full of holes, and has a blade with a crank that pushes the apples through the holes. All manual, just crank and watch the applesauce come out the bottom. The seeds and peels stay in the top. Once in a while you need to crank backwards to loosen the peels from the bottom. There is something fun about the sound the mill makes when you run it in reverse! When you're done add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Yummmy!
I don't know how many people have a food mill. I have mine just for making applesauce, I don't actually have any idea what else I'd do with it, but every fall I'm glad I have mine. They aren't inexpensive, I can find them on the web for $25 - $45, I think I paid $20 for mine 20 years ago. I recently saw one at a thrift store for $1.99. Some lucky thrifter is going to get a bargain!
There is something so pleasing about cooking the old fashioned way. I really enjoy it. I especially enjoy not having to peel the apples!I think that leaving the skins on makes the sauce more flavorful too. So as I write this I'm enjoying a nice bowl of warm, fresh, cinnamon-y applesauce. YUM!