Making applesauce

I have a roommate this summer and one of her goals is to learn how to cook. Much of it is trial and error on her part, but I’m teaching her to make some of my favorite recipes and helping her to problem-solve some of her own. Today we are making applesauce.

Homemade applesauce reminds me of my Great-grandmother. I had dinner at my Great-grandparents house every Sunday evening all through my childhood years. She made almost everything from scratch. The only notable exceptions were those brown-and-serve biscuits (that I still love), salad dressing, and ice cream. Left-over ham (probably baked in the oven for dinner the week before) or bacon went into green beans, she fixed her own homemade gravy, mashed the potatoes by hand, and slow cooked that heavenly applesauce.

I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She was born in the very late 1800s so she had lived through the depression. I wish I had been old enough before she died to understand what it was and ask her about it. She passed on her love of (and talent for) sewing to my aunt, and her talent for cooking to my mother. Once I was old enough I begged my mother to teach me how to make applesauce the way that my Great-grandmother did. It’s amazing chunky applesauce that you don’t run through a sieve. I love it. I don’t have much to remember her by except a few pictures and the memories of those wonderful Sunday nights, but I have the legacy of her food. I taught myself two Christmases ago how to do a traditional English rib roast and Yorkshire pudding like she had done. She was English after all.

I’m teaching myself to sew now too. I would love to be able to make my own clothes and cook from scratch. I may not always have time to do things the way she would, but I’ll always find a way to keep her spirit alive. She was an amazing lady, and I still want to be just like her.

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~ by Kj on June 7, 2010.

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