Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apples, Apples Everywhere

A couple of weekends ago, we went back to the apple orchard/pumpkin farm that we visited this same time last year. Because, well - it happens to be the best one around these parts.

And, going to an apple orchard really is the quintessential fall activity.

We picked four bags of Gala apples while we were there. The boys just ate them right off of the tree. Just like they did last year. Jason kept saying, "Wipe the dirt off of 'em first."

Classy, I tell you.

Speaking of last year, this was a pregnant and quite serious me and Lincoln (aka TBFKABB. Translation: The Baby Formerly Known As "Baby Bean")

One year later, I am still all too serious about my apple picking.

But, instead of carrying Lincoln in my belly like I was circa October 2007, Daddy got to carry him in the Baby Bjorn. Can I just tell you how happy Lincoln was as we walked around? And me, well - I was just as happy NOT to be pregnant with him, but have him enjoying the day with us! I loved smooching on this sweet baby all day long.

SO, what did we do with all of those apples?

First, we made caramel apples.

The smart folks at Kraft came out with a bag of unwrapped caramels this year. It made making them SO much easier.

The bag contains easy to melt bits of caramel, and 5 popsicle sticks for making caramel apples. Kudos, Kraft. We appreciated not having to unwrap an entire bag of caramels!

Here is our happy little caramel apple family. Jason and I are Granny and Grampy Smith - 'cause the tartness of a Granny Smith makes for the best caramel apple. And, if we 30-somethings are gonna eat sugar coated apples, they're gonna be the good ones. The boys used our fresh picked ones. Sans dirt.

The boys rolled their apples in sprinkles. 'Cause they just "roll" like that.

And, we like to fill them up with sugar - ESPECIALLY right before bedtime.

Responsible parenting as its finest.

I made homemade applesauce with the remaining apples. This was the first time I've ever made it. I scoured the internet for recipes, and then just came up with the simplest version I could based on several I'd seen. It was delicious, and the boys (including Lincoln) devoured it. I'm gonna make applesauce all fall long - and then freeze away so we have it all year.

Here is the recipe I used...

Homemade Applesauce

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 slices lemon peel
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Wash, peel, core and chop apples. Place in a medium stockpot.

Using a potato peeler, remove four sections of peel from a lemon. Add lemon peel to stockpot. Add sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt to pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and have broken down. Remove lemon peel and discard.

Using a potato masher or whisk, bring applesauce to desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, place applesauce into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. For chunky applesauce, leave applesauce as is.

Serve warm or cold. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon when serving, if desired.

Voila! Homemade applesauce. SO easy, and SO good!


  1. I loved your pictures - especially that one of Lincoln. The caramel apples look yummy and I think I need to make some applesauce now!

  2. what a fun post! i love it. GREAT pictures, too. especially the one of linc! what a cutie.

    i also like my caramel apples to be granny smith style.

    ALSO i've been wanting to make applesauce but thought it would be much more complicated than that. Now I'm inspired!

  3. woop woop! The kids and I are going next wednesday to pick some apples with some other chicks and kids from playgroup...should be an interesting time with all 3 by myself. On another note, I really, REALLY want to make apple butter--seen any good recipes??

  4. so cute; the pic of Lincoln is adorable. Fall's so great isn't it? we'll be praying for you today.

  5. You're right - those apples turned out great! And the applesauce looks wonderful. So glad we could do that woth you all again this year. What a fun tradition to have.

  6. I think I'm going to have to make me some caramel apples now. They look so good!

  7. That apple sauce looks amazing! Question though, what do you mean by 4 slices of lemon peal? Is that big slices? multiple lemons? do you include any of the actual lemon or just the peal?


  8. mmm, now I'm hungry for caramel apples too!

  9. That apple orchard is loaded with apples! What a neat find! This may sound silly, but I only think I've been to an orchard one or two times. Marc and I always take the girls to the pumpkin patch, but this year we were discussing going to the orchard also. Now, after seeing your pictures, I can't wait. Those trees were beautiful with all of those red apples. Thanks for getting me even more excited to pick, eat, cook with, and enjoy APPLES!

    PS. Lincoln may be tiny, but what he doesn't have in size, he makes up for in looks! What a handsome little man! Max and Jack, too!

  10. In my mind I still see you pregnant. I guess because that's how you looked when we first met, cute as a little bug!!!

    I love the orchard and can't wait to go this year. I enjoy a donut and cider, yummy!

    I was thinking about freezing the applesauce, too. Time to get to work. We had camamel apples in Chicago with the kids. They were rolled in nuts, again yummy!

  11. Jamie,

    I just used the rind/peel. I used a potato peeler to peel off 4 sections of rind. Then I placed those into the pot with everything else. It gave the applesauce a fresh flavor.

    No, I didn't use any of the lemon except for the rind/peel. Though, I did see several applesauce recipes when searching that used lemon juice as well.

    Hope this helps!

  12. SG, what awesome pictures! You know I LOVE all things fall. We are looking for the same genre of activities for this weekend. For now, I'm just lovin' the farm show!

  13. You are looking good girlfriend!!!

    Ok, back to my comment, what fun!! I haven't made applesauce in so long, but I've gotta do it this fall yet with Q and E!

    Fun, fun times!

  14. Apple picking is a fall tradition around in our family as well. I am hoping to go this weekend and will take advantage of your great Kraft caramel tip and the yummy sounding applesauce recipe. You rock Sarah! BTW I used your grilled pizza recipe last night when we had friends over...it was a BIG hit!!

    AND also, I just wanted to say that I have been praying for Lincoln. It was good to get the positive update on Monday and I prayed for his tests today.

  15. what great pictures of the boys and their apples. and lincoln changes with each picture you post - and gets cuter, if that's possible.

    my caramel apples need to have chocolate drizzled over them, too =)

  16. looks like alot of fun!! And also, it looks like Lincoln is doing great, he is as cute as can be!

  17. Hi, Sar-- I couldn't see these GORGEOUS photos the other day due to computer problems. What great memories you are creating with apple picking and your fabulous cooking. Just makes me love ya more.

    Your children are beautiful. Hope you already knew that. :) And you, my dear, look fantabulous. (An Emily word.)

  18. Really enjoyed this post!

    And by the way, you look GREAT after having a baby!

  19. That is some seeeeeeerious apple pickin'. And all those boys are cute as can be!

  20. I love the preg pic and the now pic. You look fabulous!!!

  21. oh my word.. those pictures are incredible. loved them all :o)

    the caramel apples look amazing.. yummy!

    i wish we had an orchard here...oh how i miss mine back home. always a favorite fall activity. i am glad you had a great family day.

  22. Can your posts be anymore precious!!! You are beautiful!

  23. mmm, mmm, mmm...wish I could snatch up one of those caramel apples right now!!

  24. Wow, I wish MY tummy had been that flat within a year of having Katie. You are a hottie!