…keeps the doctor away…

Clearly my cousin Geoffrey does not win, though he did guess correctly, “…yeah I wouldn’t know the first thing about knitting nor do I know any lady knitters.” Silly boy – we need to hook him up.
Yes, it is a food mill. Yes, we made apple sauce. We’re calling it Fall Field Trip because most of the apples came from the girls class trips to the orchard, nice mix of Macouns, McIntosh and a peck of Courtlands from our trip to Atkins with my Mom 2 weeks ago. We managed 6 pint sized mason jars which are now in the deep freeze till the holidays when the sauce will be thawed and given as gifts. Yum
I’ve been grinning all day in anticipation, I really have. I LOVE giving. It is next to impossible for me to keep the girls holiday and birthday presents secret from them. Patrick and I have completely failed to keep our holiday gifts from each other for the last 12 years.

So, the spoils: one Cookie A Flicker Sock Pattern, one set of 1.5US pony pearl needles – these are my favorite for socks, and a gorgeous skein of Franklin in Cherries – there’s a better picture of the great, subtle color change here.
Our winner? Blogless Kate. She’s a newer knitter that’s churned out some pretty cool stuff so far and is dying to try her hand at socks. Serendipity? I’ll have to start her out with something simpler that will keep her interest. Anybody got a favorite first sock pattern? Jaywalkers? Horcrux’s? Let me know.

Oh and the bonus? The apple sauce recipe is mine and Kate gets a copy.
The story for the bonus? Hee hee

When I was a kid I cooked a lot with my Dad’s mom, Nanny. A great cook she was not – ask my Aunts about the hockey puck cube steaks or our family tradition of burning the rolls every Thanksgiving – but she was a great baker. She had a 60’s era Betty Crocker Cookbook for kids, probably belonged to one of those Aunts, and I loved working my way through the recipes. When I was 8 or 9 she got me my own copy from England Brothers – I was ecstatic!

I subjected my family to all sorts of experimental meals. Ask my Dad about the “Meatloaf Rings”. It was supposed to be a ring of delicious meatloaf with a pile of fluffy mashed potatoes nestled in the middle. Well the rings separated and we all ate meatloaf turds that night. Dad made some horrible sarcastic comment, thinking that it was Mom who had made the meal, and I think I focused on baking for awhile after that.

I totally forgive you Dad, it is one of my favorite childhood stories and I laugh till I cry just thinking about it now. The adult that I am now would have said the same thing 🙂

Once I refocused on the baking I found the “Caramel Applesauce” recipe. I made it to bring to our big Christmas Eve dinner with my Mom’s family one year and it was a hit! I made it every Christmas till I went off to college. Of course back then I labored along with a potato ricer for the right texture – Oh Hail the glorious and ever-so-much-easier food mill. Somewhere between Massachusetts, Long Island, Massachusetts, Georgia and Massachusetts I lost the book and the memory of it. Not until Patrick and I moved back to the Bay State in 1998 and were going to celebrate the holidays with the family did I think about my favorite apple sauce recipe. I scoured Mom’s cabinets for the book, ransacked the attic of my Grampy’s barn (that’s where the detritus of all our lives has somehow ended up over the last 40 years) but to no avail. I even checked the local B&N for a Betty Crocker book with the recipe but I found nothing. On a whim one day I decided to use something new; the internet. Keep in mind that we had only just discovered that we could use the computer for much more than e-mail and games – heck, eBay was less than 2 years old. So I searched for the Betty Crocker website and e-mailed Betty with my dilemma. She e-mailed me back about a day later – Shock of all shocks! This internets thing works! Not only did she thank me for my interest and “endearing” story (a much edited version of what lies before you) but she included the recipe – Thee recipe!!


It has been modified a bit over the years and Betty never recommended a food mill or a potato ricer, hers was just chunky, but it is a family favorite. I’m not giving away my secrets – except to Kate, but here is the original recipe. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t become one of your family’s favorites.

Caramel Apple Sauce

6 Med Apples              1/2c water
3 tbs butter                 ¼ tsp nutmeg
1/2c brown sugar       ¼ tsp cinnamon

Melt sugar and butter in large stockpot over med heat. Peel, core and chop apples into approx ½ inch pieces. Toss apples in stockpot till well coated. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Raise to med-high heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins.
Serve warm or cold, approx 8 servings.

Thanks for playing along. You guys crack me up.



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