when i was a kid, we went apple picking every fall. there were orchards all around us, so we would drive around to find ones that happened to be growing the apples we were looking for – i don’t know how my mother decided which variety she wanted, but that’s how we picked which orchard to pick from.
at the end of the day we would arrive home with tote bags full of apples, and the next few weeks would be my mother baking – apple pie, apple crisp, baked apples. there were also plenty to eat just as they are.
one year (i was about 7 or 8), my mother decided to make applesauce. i was skeptical about that because, to me, appleasauce was something you bought in a glass jar from the grocery store. i knew it came from apples just like the ones we picked, but i thought there was something special that happened at the factory that you ceratinly couldn’t reproduce at home.
obviously, i was wrong – the applesauce was delicious, and my mother was magical.
i’d like to make some comparison here about how that event helped shape my interest in food and cooking – it did – but really, that’s not the point. when i make applesauce, i remember my mother – she’s in a nursing home now with advanced dementia and she probably doesn’t remember making apple sauce, but she’s still my mother and she would pretend that she did if i asked. when i make applesauce, i remember all the things she taught me about food and otherwise, and how she shaped the man i am now. making applesauce feels like carrying a little bit of her from back then into the present, and makes the long goodbye we are having much easier to bear.
today’s applesauce just getting started! you can find my recipe for applesace (and apple butter) HERE.