Summer means canning and nothing reminds me more of my childhood summers than boiling apples and mashing them into sauce. Of course, instead of the wood and metal food mill of my youth, I now have an awesome Vitamix.
Still, there's nothing like the sweet smell of boiling apples to bring me back to the yellow and white formica kitchen of my childhood.
The cottage we currently rent has a large apple tree in the backyard. Large as in it's able to support a swing and the weight of six climbing children at Joseph's birthday party with only a few shudders. This tree is currently dripping in apples. Every strong breeze or climb results in a downpour of apples. The children are discovering Newton's Law of Gravity every time they swing.
I'm not certain what variety they are, but the ones falling from the tree are the size of my hand and bright green. The ones near the top of the tree are starting to get the slightest blush of rose on the sunny sides. Still, green apples make just as delicious sauce as any other (you just need to add a bit more sugar).
I sent the kids out this morning to collect the apples littering the ground. They were able to grab twenty pounds of the granny green globes which I was able to send into a pot with water to boil soft. A trip through the Vitamix, a healthy dose of sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a bit of lemon juice later, I had sauce.
With four kids, my mom didn't often let us into the kitchen to help her can, but when she did, it was usually for applesauce. Now, a quarter of a century later, I find myself doing the same.
What traditions are you passing on to your children?