Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last. Wake me up when September ends. -Green Day
Apple picking is a ritual in these parts at this time of the year. It marks the end of summer perhaps more notably than the autumnal equinox itself.
And so, in keeping with tradition, I took my 3-year-old daughter and her friend apple picking last week. With great excitement, the two of them went about the task of filling our three bags. They turned each apple round and round until its stem broke off from the branch and placed them gently into the bags just as I had instructed them to do. I noticed though, that they were not as picky as I was in choosing which apple to pick. I said nothing of course, at the cost of bringing home a few bad apples. I knew this innocence was fleeting and I did not wish to goad it.There is limitless beauty in the innocence of children. Through their eyes, everything is perfect and equal. They have no preconceived notions and so they are full of spontaneity; they are carefree and so full of joy and they really do believe that all their hurts can be kissed away. I watched them laughing and giggling and busily picking apples. I will never forget the joy and pride with which they picked them and the amazed look on their faces as they watched our bags getting filled. Even more amazed that there were still so many apples left on the trees when we were done!
Applesauce is super easy to make and perfect for getting the kids involved. If they are old enough to handle a dull knife, have them practice their knife skills since the cutting need not be exact.
Basic Applesauce (adapted from here)
(makes about 790 g of apple sauce)
- 750 g apples, peeled and cored (Peel and core the apples ahead of time without getting the kids involved)
- 2 tbsp. sugar (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 4-8 tbsp. cold water
- Roughly dice the apples.
- In a large saucepan, combine apples with sugar (if using), butter, and 4 tbsp of water. Cook gently over low-medium heat, stirring often, for 10-20 minutes, until the apples are softened to the point where they can be easily crushed with a fork. Add more water if required during the cooking process to keep the apples from scorching.
- Allow to cool slightly and then purée until smooth in a food processor or using an immersion blender.