Earlier this year we used up the last of our pearsauce from 2012. It was an alternative I made when we were blessed with being able to pick pears for free, but had no apples.
Applesauce is not something that is a necessity at our house. Instead, it is something the kids like and I find an easy snack. It is also fairly healthy, if there is no sugar added. When I can find apple to pick it is very cost effective, though does take time to go pick them.
This year, a lot of the apples trees around us did not produce. Mainly I am thinking of those that homeowners have one or two of for personal use. I did hear about some orchards’ having lower than normal production, but do no know as many orchard owners as home owners.
This meant no free apples to pick. I had resigned myself to not canning any up for this season. Then at one of the final produce auctions, there were apples that went for a reasonable price. It was not that the amount of apples had changed from weeks prior, but there happened to be fewer people that week who were interested in apples. After all, a bushel of apples weighs 42 lbs or more. No everyone is set up to handle that many apples, or have the desire to do so.
I came away with … well, 10 bushels of various varieties. My plan was not to use all of them, though that is what I was thinking if no one else wanted them. Instead, I realized that at about 20¢ a pound, this was a good price. (They were just over $1 per pound in Small Town.) George’s and Jack’s appetites had also been increasing, and these would make quick and easy snacks whenever they wanted something to eat. No worries about extra sugar or having to stop to put something together.
After getting home with all the apples, 3 bushels went to a friend who also cans and 1 bushel went to a friend ‘just because I thought they would like some’. This left me with 6 bushels of apples to slice, peel and make into apple sauce.
When faced with a task this size, I find it best to not think about the end goal (processing 6 bushels). Instead I focus on the smaller tasks – processing enough apples to fill each of my crock pots once. This worked well till I was down to about the last 1.5 bushels. At that point my motivation ran out and there were other things calling my attention. They sat in my kitchen awaiting me, all the while being used for after school snacks and “I’m still hungry after that large meal we just ate, Mom” times.
to be continued …