Life has been tossing us around the past few weeks. Everyone in this little family has been having good days punctuated by really tough days. The causes are different, of course - the one year-old can point to his problem, a swollen gum waiting for a molar to poke through. The adults? Well, what we wouldn't give for some down-to-earth teething issues of our own.
But you know what? When the going gets tough, I find it helpful to take on one fairly mindless activity each day - an activity that brings some peace in it's ability to ground me in the beauty of the present moment, despite the whirl of emotions in both the past and the present.
Yesterday, that activity was making applesauce.
Need I mention that Finn loved it? Oh, and I should also mention that our applesauce is probably not very sanitary. It does, however, go through a strict regimen of taste testing. As in, every apple gets tasted. Toddler spit only enhances the flavor, claims said toddler.
Applesauce is really easy to make. I followed the directions in this amazing book, since I'd never made it before. I actually wanted to make apple butter, but I decided that apple butter is not a recipe for this time in my life. We don't have a slow cooker, so it would require stiring every 10 minutes for several hours to keep it from scorching. Um, yeah. So we made applesauce instead.
If you're into preserving, Canning for a New Generation is a true gem. It's full of exotic-sounding recipes, taking your basic sauces and jams to a whole new level. What I really love about this book, though, is that the author also gives you recipes for dishes to make with the preserves - from yogurt to cheese to pastries to savory main dishes. Patrick made some of her four-sticks-of-butter oat scones to go with our applesauce. Oh my.
Today, we're abandoning the Mt. Everest of Dishes that seems to have accumulated in our kitchen to have an impromptu dinner out with friends, because neither of us feels like finding peace in the present moment through washing dishes!
Wishing you all a peaceful weekend,