Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcoming Fall with open arms and applesauce

This whole idea of season changing celebrations started a couple of years ago for me. Although we are not of a religion that officially worships the change of seasons, there's something deep down inside me that needs to mark the point at which our Earth travels around the Sun.
Tomorrow is the first day of Fall, and believe it or not, there are way too many people who slept through second grade science class and don't know that the Autumnal Equinox is the exact mid-point between the time when our Earth is tilted towards the sun (Summer Solstice) and away from the sun (Winter Solstice.)
Mathematically, it just gives me the willies that we can even figure this out. How massive the planets, the sun, the solar system. How obscure are rotations and revolutions. And yet, even on the cheapest calendar from the cheapest store, tomorrow is marked as the first day of Fall.
And so, we celebrate. Just as we do the first day of each season.
In the past, the first day of Winter we toast hot chocolate. In Spring, we plant a seed, any seed. In Summer, a campfire. And in fall, we're trying something new.
In the past it's been baked apples, but my picky kids drove me crazy one too many times with their complaints about a normal food being an abnormal consistency. So instead of me yelling "HAPPY FALL EAT YOUR BAKED APPLES WE ARE CELEBRATING HERE BE THANKFUL blah blah blah" we're making applesauce.
And applesauce couldn't be easier, almost as easy as driving to the store and buying a jar that's half filled with apples and half filled with high fructose corn syrup.
For me, it's one of those simple things in life, the old fashioned kind, that "modern" and "educated" people are so very afraid of. Other things in the same category? Baking bread. Knitting. Gardening. Canning.
All so very simple to do, all with great rewards. Like all good things, it just takes a little time. And what better time of year to actually make the time than on day of celebration.

You know, stop and smell the apples.

Really Basic Applesauce
You can get really fancy with applesauce. This is a very basic recipe, one that's super easy, requires no special equipment, and is just right for kids to help with. Get creative if you want-- add orange zest, brandy (wow, kids, good sauce!), nutmeg, cardamom, other fruits, etc.

3 pounds of apples, different kinds preferred, peeled, quartered, and cored
1+ cup water
1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
1/4+ cinnamon or spice of choice (optional)

In a large pot combine apples, water, sugar (1/3 cup) and spice if you want. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until apples are tender. (Add more water if necessary.)
Once tender, remove from heat. Mash apples with a potato masher, or put them in a processor a blender. Add more sugar to taste and process to desired texture. Serve warm or cold.


Check back tomorrow for my other first day of Fall tradition, and have an excuse to go outside!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

during both solstices Earth is farthest from the Sun. The season depends on the hemisphere you're in!

Karrie said...

Anonymous is right...I guess i just get caught up simplifying to preschoolers the complicated world of science.
And yes, I am of course writing about the Northern Hemisphere...someday I will have to post my song that is a tribute to my Aussie friends, which doesn't include seasons, but does include water going the wrong way down the 'plug hole.' :)

Samantha Gianulis said...

don't forget the nutmeg!!!

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