Life

Baking bread and revisiting Pinterest

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The other day I was determined to make a loaf of bread. When I visited my sister several weeks ago, to be with her for her friends wake and funeral, another one of her friends popped in for dinner with a couple of homemade loaves of bread in hand. She’d only been invited a couple hours prior and I was astounded that she came by with a beautiful lemon meringue pie and two loaves of bread warm out of the oven. I want to be like her when I grow up! I have been thinking about homemade bread ever since.

Continue reading “Baking bread and revisiting Pinterest”

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Life

Mom’s Applesauce

This is a blog from my drafts from last fall. Today I am making my mom’s top secret applesauce for the first time this season so it seemed appropriate to resurrect it here.

My mother never used a cookbook. This was especially disconcerting to me as I left home and needed her stock of recipes to carry me into adulthood. Thank goodness for the phone as she would only be a call away when I needed her guidance about how much sour cream to put in the beef stroganoff (a couple large spoonfuls) or what was the secret ingredient to her applesauce (red hots).

Fortunately by the time she passed away in 2016, I had a pretty good handle on her recipe collection and had even written a few of them down so I don’t forget the ones I grew up on. There are lots of dashes of this and that here and there. A bunch of “add to taste”. Some of these have moved into my own family’s favorites (cue the beef stroganoff and beef stew) although Liam has put a bit of a wrench in things by forgoing meat in his diet the past few months.

From the beginning of fall until Christmas, you could always find my mom in the kitchen making her special applesauce (either on the stove or in the slow cooker) and this was one of Liam’s favorites. I have tried to reproduce her simple recipe on many occasions but it seems to be missing one thing: Grandma’s love.

I recently became the proud owner of an Instant Pot and it had been about a year since I attempted the secret sauce made famous by mom. I bought the apples but was unsure how I could obtain the red hots which don’t seem to be a staple of the candy aisle any more. Luckily I discovered Walmart carries them and sent my husband on a mission to pick up a box so I could give the Instant Pot applesauce a try.

The final product was right on for color and texture but Liam proclaimed it was a little too spicy so I’ll have to be a little less heavy handed with the red hots next time.

Mom’s Applesauce (in the Instant Pot)

5 lbs of apples, peeled and sliced
1 + 1/4 cup of water
Several red hots (to taste)
Sugar (to taste – I added about 4 packets of stevia)

Add the first three items to the Instant Pot and select Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes. Release the pressure before opening.

Add sugar to your taste and enjoy!

MC