a homecoming {and dang good apple sauce}

Easy and incredibly versatile, homemade applesauce might be the one thing you never want to buy from the store again. 

Easy and incredibly versatile, homemade applesauce might be the one thing you never want to buy from the store again. 

When you haven’t seen someone you love in a year and a half you think and hope that things will just pick up right where you left them. Especially when that someone you haven’t seen in forever is your sister. 

For a quick catch up, my sister served a mission for our church for the past year and half in Peru. She was mostly in a city in the mountains, speaking Spanish and helping people. (You can read more about it all on some other blog posts here and here.) 

Then two weeks ago, she finally came home, past midnight into a crowded dirty airport in Los Angeles into the arms of a very pregnant sister and some other very eager, elated family members. 

She’s since commented on things I take for granted. Like the organization of paved street roads, flushable toilet paper, hot showers and simple pleasures like eating strawberries or an apple. She couldn’t eat any fresh produce or drink any water that wasn’t bottled in Peru.  For the record, if I had to live like that, I think I would die. 

Food is my favorite love language and I wanted to surprise my sister with something special but familiar when she came home - warm chocolate chip cookies seemed right. I was afraid that she might not be interested in them after eating a certain way for the past year and a half (a diet of basically potatoes, rice and chicken), but upon seeing the cookies she dug in and said, “So GOOD!” after her first bite.

We ate cookies talked until 4am with the fam. We made each other laugh out loud a handful of times - sometimes so hard we teared. She’s brave and strong, and hearing more about everything she’s done and gone through made me muster up a little more courage to birth this child.

“I can’t wait to meet this boy!” She said as she rubbed my belly and rested her head on my shoulder. It was then that I realized that even after all this time, nothing’s really changed. Time has definitely passed, but nothing's changed. Sisters are like that I guess. 

Love you friends. xo  

dang good apple sauce 

inspired by ina garten

 

makes about 4ish cups

This recipe has nothing to do with my sister coming home from Peru other than the fact that I now look at an apple and feel much more grateful that I can just eat it. Homemade applesauce is a super easy and worth-while cold pantry staple. This is my favorite take on the stuff. I love it plain, warm with a drizzle of cream for dessert, for breakfast on top of my oatmeal or used in baked goods. It goes quickly.

note: Don't stress too much about measurements here. This recipe is pretty hard to ruin. ;) xo 

 

3 large fuji apples, washed, peeled, cored and sliced 

3 large granny smith apples, washed, peeled, cored and sliced 

zest and juice of 1 orange 

zest and juice of 1 lemon 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

3 tablespoons of butter, optional

¼ cup / 50g brown sugar 

 

Preheat oven to  350°F / 180° C. 

Cut and peel apples, reserving about 1 cup of the apple peels.  

Stir all ingredients together in at least a 2.75 quart dutch oven pot and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes. 

After the first hour of baking, take the pot out, stir it and add your cup of apple peels. Don't mix the apple peels in, just leave them clumped together in one spot amongst your apples so they're easy to fish out. Bake for another 30 mins. 

Let the apple sauce stand for about 10 minutes before fishing out the apple peels.  Take out peels, and mush it all together with a large spoon - I like my sauce chunky so I end it here, but if you'd like it store-bought smooth, put it into a blender. 

Keeps in a tightly sealed container, in the fridge for a little over a week. 

Apple sauce with oatmeal. 

Apple sauce with oatmeal.