October 26, 2009 in Features

Feeling glum? Get saucy

Donna Erickson
King Features photo

A little snow won’t spoil the apples when you are about to make them into applesauce.King Features
(Full-size photo)

It wasn’t exactly a pretty picture when an unexpected snowfall blanketed the Twin Cities during the Oct. 10 weekend.

We simply weren’t ready for cold temps and a whiteout of fall colors at the very same time that our World Series hopes were dashed when the Yankees triumphed over the Twins with a three-game sweep.

Since we were feeling and acting noticeably glum in our household, it was a moment to step up to the plate with the familiar adage I had repeated to the kids when they were young and the lemon of life had just turned sour on their hopes and dreams: “OK, you guys, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

But we don’t grow lemons in Minnesota, so we proceeded to do the next best thing. We went out in the backyard to our fledgling, spindly apple tree, picked our last 10 apples from snow-laden branches and collectively mused, “So, when life gives you 10 juicy apples, turn them into applesauce!”

And that’s exactly what we did.

We sliced and diced all 10 apples and tossed them in the slow cooker with some water, sugar and a dash of cinnamon. It was a success!

As the apples sputtered and gurgled to their own rhythm, the sweet and fragrant apple-cinnamon aroma permeated every room of our house. Just count up 10 apples, and you’re on your way to a special fall treat. Here’s what you’ll need to turn the apples into 5 to 6 cups of tasty homemade applesauce:

•10 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced, or cut into chunks

•1/2 cup water

•1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

•1 teaspoon cinnamon

•Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Stir ingredients together in a slow cooker. It should be about three-fourths full. Set on the low setting and cook for about 8 hours. Mash with a potato masher before serving for a smoother mixture, if you wish.

Enjoy on hot breakfast cereal, granola, pancakes and waffles in the morning, as a snack in the afternoon, or over vanilla ice cream for dessert after the evening meal.

Donna Erickson is the author of several books about family activities and host of a public television series. See more at www.donnasday.com

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