Anyone who has been reading this column over the past few weeks has probably noticed a theme. Apples, apples, apples!
This week we were down to our last 200 pounds of apples gleaned from Biscay Orchards. It’s crazy to think that we have already distributed 1,300 pounds apples to share tables and food pantries. For our last apple hoorah, we wanted to do something extra special. With the help of Mary Kate Reny, master preserver and local Lincoln County celeb, and a great group of volunteers we were able to turn those apples into some amazing apple sauce!
We returned to Rising Tide Co-op’s community kitchen to spend a few hours making the sauce. I had never made applesauce from scratch before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Thankfully, Mary Kate is a terrific teacher.
The process was much simpler than I would have thought. First, we peeled and sliced the apples before letting them soak briefly in some lemon juice to prevent browning. Next, we combined the apple slices and some apple cider in a pot and simmered them until softened. Once the apples were soft enough to mash, we added some sugar and cinnamon and that was that! Now we have incredible and easy applesauce that is ready to be refrigerated or frozen.
Over the past few months, I have realized how simple it is to make recipes I normally rely on the grocery store for. Making all these new recipes from scratch is incredibly rewarding, and even tastier than the store-bought version!
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even thought about making my own applesauce before I moved to Maine. The great thing about volunteer events like the one we held today is that they are a great way to learn a new skill. Not to mention, it’s a lot less daunting when you have a great teacher and a fun group to learn with!
If you’re interested in trying some of this amazing applesauce, I recommend keeping your eyes on our local share tables. While we finish off the last of our apples this week, it is finally time to reflect on how much we were able to do with them. One thing is for sure, I’ll never look at an apple pie or applesauce the same way!
Thank you once again to all the people who helped us glean, process, and distribute all that amazing fruit. Maybe next year we will get even closer to 2,000 pounds!