Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quilt Step Three & Applesauce

This is the third step in a quilt design for me: drawing it on graph paper to scale. Although I admit, I have been known to whip out a 2D CAD program during my lunch break and design quilts that way too. For the fellow geeks out there: yes, this is engineering paper. I design most of my quilts on engineering paper. I think it's mostly because I'm comfortable with it and I have some left over from my college days.

So yes, when I tell people that quilting is like engineering, this is one of my reasons! My scale drawing helps me figure out how to lay out and cut my fabric when it comes time to do so. 

Part of eating locally is definitely storing food. Whether that be freezing, canning, drying, whatever. So I have a friend who has an apple tree (or 6!), and we also have an apple tree that is old enough to give fruit. We have several others as well that are getting there that Ryan planted, but our orchard is not really up to full swing yet. So one thing we've taught ourselves to make is applesauce. Now, I say "taught ourselves" because we do some things more of a "cheater" way due to our lack of patience and our lack of a food mill.
Step one is to core and cut the apples into largish pieces. We don't peel them because we don't mind the taste of the peels and that is where all the nutrition is!

Step two is to throw the apple pieces into the food processor and chop fairly finely.
The raw chopped apples

Step three is to put the apples in a saucepan with a little water or apple juice and some lemon juice (a couple tablespoons of each of these). Then you simmer it until the apples are soft, it takes about 15-20 minutes.

Raw apples in the saucepan
Step four is to add some sugar (I used brown sugar, about 2 Tbsp or so) and about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (obviously the cinnamon is optional). If I'm feeling like it, I'll thrown in some ginger and/or nutmeg too. Then I simmer it 2-3 more minutes to get it all combined.
The completed applesauce: Ugly but yummy!
Voila, applesauce! Sometimes I can this, (like 2 years ago I did) but this year I just filled quart-sized ziploc bags and stacked them up in the freezer. We did about 6 rounds in the saucepan and got about 5 bags as well as another 3 cups or so for the fridge for the next few days' eating. If you wanted to, the warm applesauce could be pulsed in the food processor to make it finer. This is how you're supposed to do it, but I don't like dealing with all that hot, sticky applesauce. 
The applesauce assembly line in process

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