We had a blizzard. My office was closed for days. I am nursing a foot injury and was leery of venturing outside. So, I was scrounging through my rapidly depleting pantry and fridge for ingredients to embark on some sort of cooking project.
I had some ideas:
Beef broth. Yes! Great idea! Alas, no beef bones.
Chicken broth. Yes! Great idea! And I have roasted chicken parts in my freezer! But, I also have several enormous jugs of frozen chicken broth already taking up space.
Lemon curd. Yes! I love lemon curd. I already have a jar in my freezer.
Homemade fresh mozzarella. Yes! I made cheese curds a couple of months ago and they are waiting patiently in my freezer to be stretched into cheese. Of course, they are frozen. I cannot work with frozen curds. I have no patience.
Bread: Yes! No, no, no, no, no. I cannot live with fresh bread in the house. It will be devoured. I am enduring limited exercise right now and my psyche cannot handle a total bread binge. So, this also rules out cookies, quick breads, any sort of delightful carby baked good.
Applesauce: Ugh. Applesauce? Well, I had a huge bag of apples that would otherwise likely turn brown and rot. So why not? I decided to make a cross between a true applesauce and something more akin to apple pie filling. It worked! I now have several bowls of a mildly sweet, tart, highly spiced apple-pie-type filling. It’s delicious and I have been enjoying it dolloped over oatmeal or stirred into my Greek yogurt in the mornings for breakfast.
It’s so easy I urge you to try it. And, the best part, you can customize it anyway you wish. Make it chunky, make it smooth, make it crazy-sweet, whatever suits your fancy. I happen to like it tart with just a bit of sugar and plenty of spice — cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of vanilla.
Applesauce: (made in a 6 quart slow-cooker)
- 15 or so apples of any type (a mix is great), cored and cut into chunks. I left the peel on.
- Toss apple chunks into slow-cooker. Sprinkle with sugar (a mix of brown and white) and any spices you wish. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir. Add more sugar and/or vanilla to taste.
- Eat with a spoon.