Apple Sauce

By this time, nobody in the family was reaching for apples. I still had a huge pile of them, so I decided to do my first experiment in canning. Apple sauce. I have made apple sauce before, which is ridiculously easy, but I have never canned it. I have the book Putting Food By, which is great, but should be subtitled Scaring You Silly About Salmonella. It gives very detailed directions about canning to ensure success. Here’s a site that gives some simple instructions for hot water bath canning, which is what you use when canning fruits, tomatoes or other items with high acidity.

I wasn’t really following a recipe and since this was the first time canning, I made a guess as to how many apples to use. Turns out that I could have double the amount, because in the end I only had 4 1/2 jars worth of applesauce. That was a disappointing yield coupled with the fact that I still had some leftover apples. Not too many though, so I think my work is donee!

Recipe for Applesauce (very loose guide)

Peel and core as many apples as you have. Add to a pot with some liquid like apple cider, apple juice or water. The liquid keeps the apples from scorching. Cook slowly over med-low heat. Stir often. Spice how you like your apple sauce. I used plenty of lemon juice and grated ginger. You could be more traditional and use cinnamon.

Stir and taste often. You can run it through a food mill if you like a liquid applesauce. I prefer mine chunky, so I attacked the apples with a potato masher once they were soft.

Red Hook Harvest Festival

This Saturday our friends who moved to CT came down and we all went to the Red Hook Harvest Festival at the Added Value Farm, which is a farm my friend Alison started as part of her work for Heifer International. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Red Hook, Brooklyn it is a very urban area. 


It was a beautiful day and the turnout was great. There were informational booths on composting and building rain barrel systems, there was food from Rice, there were chickens from the Red Hook Poultry Association, there was an area for costumes and face painting. Lindsay’s friend Mason dressed himself up and had his face painted as an asparagus. He was obviously inspired by his surroundings, because this is a kid who barely touches vegetables!

I caught the tail end of a canning workshop by an amazing woman named Classie Parker. I definitely have to track her down because she was extremely knowledgeable and a total riot.

A man named Roger Repohl gave a talk on urban beekeeping. He keeps bees at a community garden in the Bronx and shared a lot of his knowledge. He brought his honey and let us sample it. The honey was divided up by times of the year. The earliest honey was a pale lemon yellow and the latetest honey was a dark amber color. I liked the honey on both ends of the growing season best. The early honey was delicious with a subtle minty taste. Roger said that it was from the bees gathering nectar from Linden and basswood trees. The honey from the end of the summer had a very fruity flavor. The honey from the middle of the summer tasted more like regular honey that you get from the store. I’ve tried honey from bees that pollinate various plants, such as lavender or clover, but it was interesting to taste the difference of honey based on what the bees find in the Bronx at different times of the growing season.