The week before last, my parents travelled to my house for our annual applesauce-a-thon. It was their first trip away over night since my mom's surgery, a big milestone in her recuperation.
We had four baskets of apples - one each of Granny Smith, Yellow Delicious, Cortland and Winesap - so our work was cut out for us.
Thursday afternoon we began by washing and cutting apples and cooking them - we mix the varieties as we cook. Nothing special, we just wash them and unpeeled, cut them into small chunks (the pigment in the skin adds a pink tinge to the finished product) and cook in stock pots with enough water to keep them from burning. We cooled them overnight on my back porch in a large tub (you know, the kind you cool a keg in!)
We brought it inside in small batches:
Then we pass the cooked apples through a cone shaped food mill - this is the exercise portion of the process:
After about three hours of building up our biceps, the four baskets of apples were reduced to this much waste:
After a thorough stirring, we bagged the applesauce into zip-top bag and loaded the freezer. Note that because we use a mixture of apples, the addition of sugar was not necessary. We garnered about 38 quarts of apple goodness for the coming year. And on New Year's Day, when we sit to enjoy our traditional meal of roast pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, we'll have the best applesauce to enjoy with it.