Applesauce Time

Whenever I would list things that I thought were okay, but not fabulous, applesauce always made the list. Just like salad and John Meyer, it was okay, I just preferred something else.

That, however, has changed.

During my time at Marbeck (the commons at Bluffton University), I came to appreciate applesauce since I had very limited options for my daily fruit intake. Oh, sure, they had apples, banana and oranges (always), but I typically avoided these things since they were out of season (or clearly not grown in northwest Ohio) and thus barely fruit. Awful stuff. Sure the applesauce that was served on the sandwich bar probably came from far way too, but at least it tasted better and, unlike its original form sitting all shiny and red by the salad bar, did not make the roof of my mouth itch from some mysterious chemical in its skin)

I don't know when I had a half-hearted falling out with applesauce. Back in Eureka, IL, we had two Golden Delicious trees in our backyard which my father babied like crazy. But even before our trees had fully matured, I am sure that we got apples from somewhere or maybe even just the sauce from my grandparents whenever they drove down from Iowa because we always seemed to have plastic quarts of it in our deep freeze. It was the best when it was pink and when it was frozen. I remember dozens of times when my sister and I would sit at the dinner table and carve out chunks of frozen applesauce from the dish that mom had tried to defrost too close to dinner time. We still enjoy this. (Duh, it's awesome).

Fall is a great time of year (if the weather here would actually remember that it is no longer midsummer, as today Asheville has another above average temperature). I do get a little bit sad when we have to say goodbye to all the spring and summer fruits but in the fall there is apples! (Although, since apple season is so long and certain ones can last a long time, the excitement of "all we have is apples!" turns into a very monotonous one). (Oh, I feel like I should include this little fact. I used to not really care for apples. After all, the ones from the store are so unnaturally shiny and so mediocre it's hard to convince myself to actually buy them and eat them. But after living in South Africa for a year and having fresh apples practically all year long, I have changed my mind. Yes, I actually like apples but only if they are grown and eaten in their seasons – and aren't shipped from South America in February).

I wish this blog entry could include my parents' and my original plan. We all were going to go pick our own apples at a u-pick orchard in Hendersonville County. However, the rain and our busy schedules cancelled those plans. So, instead, my mom and I went to Asheville's mega farmer's market yesterday and bought a whole box of golden delicious apples to turn into sauce. I don't remember how many quarts we ended up making from that box but as I turned the crank, pulverizing the cooked, mushy apples into pulp, and sweating profusely because of the heat, I felt like a little kid again who was always so eager to help mom and grandma make the whole house smell delicious as we put up quarts and quarts of fruit to last us through the no fruit months ahead.

It's applesauce time.