My recipe came from a new book I purchased this year from Cook's Illustrated.
And I'll just say right here and now that there are a lot of good cookbooks out there, but my go-to cookbook for anything I'm trying for the first time is almost always going to be published by Cook's Illustrated. They'll happily make something a hundred times or more to get the flavor just right before putting a recipe out there for publication, and so I trust them. Also, I like reading their process as they hone their recipe to their idea of perfection. Now, their idea of perfection isn't always going to agree with mine, but it's still a good place to start.
So my recipe started with 5 1/2 pounds of apples. Those were cored and then chopped, but not peeled. (The not peeling part was very appealing...ha!) To that I added 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, two cinnamon sticks and 4 cups of water. Pretty simple.
Then I cooked it for about 20 minutes until the apples were starting to break down. Then, I got out my brand spanking shiny new food mill...okay, and you know I just now had to see where that phrase "brand spanking new" came from. So, I checked with The Google, and the answer was very disappointing to me.
The phrase brand spanking new means to be entirely new or recently created, and was first recorded in 1860. It evolved from the compound word brand-new and the phrase spick-and-span. Also, spanking, while the main definition is to hit someone on the butt, can also mean to move quickly. So one might say that a brand spanking new object was created quickly or appeared very fast. In truth, no one knows quite how it was coined or what it originally referred to.
The Google has let me down with that "no one knows" bit. Wow. Adjusting my expectations now. Stand by...
Okay, regarding the food mill...you might want to fasten your seatbelt because what I'm just about to show you is going to knock you right out of your socks. That's how we roll here at Cat Patches...excitement every minute of every day. So here goes:
Here's my food mill. I told you it was shiny, and with a red knob any clown would covet.
First, I fished the cinnamon sticks out of the apple concoction, and then I loaded it into the food mill, and started cranking away.
Supposedly, this was going to puree the apples while simultaneously separating out the apple skins. I'll admit I had my doubts about this, but lookie there...
and I had to do this in batches, obviously, because I had enough applesauce to feed a small army at this point. I kept pushing the skins under the blade, and they kept resisting by climbing up the sides of the mill. So then, I wondered if I should dump them into the sauce anyway. I tasted them and found them unpleasantly bitter, and so those went into the compost pail.
And in my bowl was all this lovely and tasty applesauce. It was fairly tart, and so I added just a tad more sugar. Then I dumped it back into the now-empty pot, brought it to a boil, and then loaded it into jars for processing.
My yield was 5 pints...about a pint per pound. Not bad. Man, oh, man...is it ever tasty.
I still have enough apples for two more batches, and I plan on giving Erik and Mae several jars since the apples are from their tree. Also, I'm going to bake an apple crisp for two with the remaining apples. We'll have that tonight.
So once I had my applesauce made, I headed into the sewing room to work on Sadie's pawtrait. This one is ever so challenging. It's challenging for the opposite reason that Scooter the dog was challenging. Sadie's fur has so little color uniformity, while Scooter's had so much. I keep reminding myself that the thread work at the end is what pulled Scooter's together, and so I'm trying to remain confident that Sadie's will come together too. Besides, I'm sure it will look like a cat...maybe just not my cat. Here's what I have so far:
Smitty was helping me choose fabrics.
Mom...I think you need to consider your subject matter. Start with a good subject, and the art creates itself. Start with that little wag-a-muffin...I'm just sayin'.
So I worked on that for quite a while yesterday afternoon and then got dinner going. Our CSA shares are moving into the best part of summer. I made these Chicken Tostadas with Summer Vegetables earlier in the season. Now I'm making them with zucchini from our own plants and the sweetest CSA corn I've ever tasted. Also, I added some CSA green beans that I'd chopped into about half-inch segments, and I had some homemade salsa verde on hand. Dee-licious.
After that, I headed out for my Friday morning walk with Sue. If you've been reading for a while, then you might be familiar with the Weenie Award. When one of us weenies out of our walk for some reason, we exchange the weenie award...a perpetual trophy for the weeniest between us. Well. Sue weenied out a couple of weeks ago because she had a cold. Then, last week, she weenied about because she'd sprained her ankle. She volunteered for a double weenie since she already had the trophy. I threatened to produce another so that she could actually have two weenies, as a sort of double-your-pleasure gesture. Then, Sue made her own double weenie and presented it to me...as a sort of "get out of jail free" card...twice.
Her sprained ankle turned out to be minor...for a sprained ankle...which is never minor. Nevertheless, she was able to walk today, although we both needed a short walk. My knee has been acting up from too much time on my feet while canning. It was pretty, however. We saw these cattails...which I happen to love.
This blooming grass glinting in the sunshine caught my eye.
And as usual, there were the blooming things.
There were bunches of these little wildflowers growing by the side of the road, new ones to us.
According to the Like that Garden app...
When I got home, I iced my aching knee and then drew out Block 15 for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. This one is "Bee Courageous".
I'll get started on that tomorrow morning.
For today, I'm going to bake an apple crisp for two, do some watering, do a little housework, and then get back to work on Sadie's pawtrait. And there you go...you're all up-to-date...not that you were ever behind. But I was.