Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
Roaring Brook Press, 2009
Endpapers: 3 x 4 blocks of apples & faces on each page (Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Ida Red...)
All I really have left of my "past life" as a Maine mom and wife comes in spits and spurts at unexpected times. This book brought it gushing like a plumbing fixture gone wild. It's all about a family tradition of making homemade applesauce. And it's made in almost the same way that my family begged for every October. First, we'd go apple picking in one of the many orchards in the Bangor area where you could pick a grocery bagful for a minimum price. When the kids were younger they'd sit on their dad's shoulders and reach high...as they go older they'd find a ladder leaning against a tree. We'd munch on apples as we picked. I'm happy to say that both my kids now take their kids apple picking.
Once home, I'd make apple crisp and applesauce. I'd cut the apples and cook them EXACTLY like it tells in the book - except I'd only use one type of apple. I LOVE the idea of mixing three or more types in one cooking! I'd use a food mill, just like they do in the book, and add 1/3 cup of sugar to the still-hot apple mixture. Then we'd pour it into jars and share with friends and family. Sometimes the sauce would come out pink, sometimes yellow. Steve said he loved it when it was pink because it reminded him of his grandmother's.
And that's what this book is about - a family tradition. This family happens to live in the city and shop at the farmer's market, but it sure doesn't matter where those crisp apples come from. I LOVE this book!
I left my food mill behind when I came west. I've just gone online and bought one, it's time to make some applesauce in the sunny southwest. It'll be good for the potato latkes/pancakes I want to make, too! The only difference is that they don't make bright orange ones anymore, like I used to have....I'm going to have to settle for white!