Monday, October 28, 2013


Dear Lauren,

We took the long way home from Knoxville back to Atlanta.

Things I learned that weekend:
1) sleepovers with friends never cease to be fun no matter your age
2) go to a college football game when you get the chance, no matter if it's your favorite team or not
3) never squish a stinkbug
4) for immediate acceptance in Knoxville, TN paint your fingernails orange

Dad always loves to take the long way home but winding roads make me car sick so what I do is either get these arm bands (yes, they do work) or I tell Dad it's ok to take the long way home but if I get car sick we have to find the Interstate and switch over. It makes me feel good to know that's an option, even though I know it's completely not an option. If you have ever been on a winding road, you know there is no straight road that cuts over to the Interstate when you feel car sick.

As he did that day, Dad usually says something like this at the start of the trip: If you see anyplace at all that you'd like to stop, just tell me and we'll stop. So I wanted to stop at the IGA in McCaysville, GA and we did. I love IGA's. If you've never stopped at one, do. Just walk the aisles and you'll see things you've never seen. Like Texas Pete Hot Dog Chili that I bought for my friend Woo. I wanted to go to the gift shop across the street but it was closed until 2 p.m. with a note on the door that told me to go to church. Not bad advice.

We drove on to Ellijay, GA. I saw throngs of people at various fruit stands and pick-your-own orchards. It's apple season in Georgia in October. Tourists come to Ellijay, GA from as far as Hawaii and Alaska for these famous Ellijay apples and I know this because Wikipedia tells me so.

I told Dad I wanted to stop and we had this conversation:
Me: I want to stop.
Dad: Why?
Me: Look at all of these people! Throngs of them!
Dad: Exactly. Throngs. Let's keep going.
Dad: Ok, let's stop.
Me: Thank you.

He pulled into a stand and bought a peck of apples and that was that. And now I am making applesauce.


8 Ellijay apples, picked in October (or other apples)
4 apples, juiced OR 8 ounces unfiltered or unsweetened apple juice

Peel and core the apples. (Use one of these and small children will think you're magical.)

Juice 4 apples, optional. 

Slice 8 apples with a mandoline or a food processor for a uniform thickness. If you peeled and cored with one of these, just cut the apples right down the middle and you're done.) Place the 8 sliced apples in a heavy bottomed pot and add the juice.

Place the lid on the top of your pot and turn the heat on the stove top to medium for 10 minutes and then reduce to low heat for the final 20 minutes.   Allow the applesauce to come to room temperature before you refrigerate. 

If you would like smoother applesauce, mash with a potato masher or use a stick blender after the applesauce is cooled completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.


P.S. You can play around with adding lemon juice or cinnamon or sugar to your applesauce. But honestly, I love this simple sauce. Try it and see what you think before you play around with it.

P.S.2. My friend Susan was generous to provide me with her grandmother's applesauce recipe and I read at least a dozen recipes online and in my cookbook collection at home. In the end, I just winged it. I suggest reading and cooking from recipes and cookbooks because you really learn a lot about cooking. But I also recommend winging it! You never know what you'll get but it's usually really good.

P.P.S. Never underestimate the willingness of people to share their recipes. Patrick and Tim, our neighbors, came home from France with stories of French applesauce that melted in their mouths. I asked them for the name of the place they went, I emailed them and amazingly, I received an email right back.

Here's the recipe, word for word, as I received it in the email:
"The apple sauce is very simple. Some apples “Golden”, wash, peel them and cut them in large pieces…In a large pan, cook them slowly with a little water…add some sugar ( not a lot) , some vanilla sugar and a piece of fresh lemon and some little cinnamon..Check it and cook until it is ready about 1 hour…sometime look after if missing water add some more Hope it will be ok and “bon appetit“ Regards, PAtrice HOTEL LE MANOIR LES MINIMES Charming and Luxury Hotel in the Loire Valley" (sic)

And they say the French are rude.

P.P.S.S. The applesauce that resulted from the French recipe never melted in our mouths. C'est la vie.

No comments:

Post a Comment