Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 1: Oh, New Eng-land.

    Last year some time in early September, some friends and I went apple picking. Rookie mistake: it was way too early in the season. We did buy plenty of apples, and they were delicious, but there were only a few varieties available, and the apples were still pretty small.

    This year we know better and held off until today: conveniently, day one of Vegan Mofo, the perfect excuse to kick my un-blogging ass back into gear. We went to Holmberg Orchards, where there were also bosc pears and pumpkins, as well as a cute little orchard store with all kinds of goodies (few of which are vegan, I think they have some nice herbal tea though.)
    Do you know what $22 worth of apples looks like? Well neither do I, because a few got eaten before I could get them all together, and it's not really worth it to find a clear surface big enough to arrange them all. But it's a whole lot of apples. Most of them are Jonathan apples, but there are also Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and a few Winesap apples.
    It's been a long time since I've baked much of anything, but looking around on the internet I didn't find an apple bread recipe that really suited my tastes--I wanted something using grated apple, lots of spice and whole grains. What I made up on the fly is alright but needs some tweaking, there'll be a recipe in a week or two.

    And of course, applesauce. If you've never made your own applesauce, you need to get your butt into the kitchen and do it right now. Peel and cut up a few apples, put them in a pot with some water--not enough to cover-- cook over medium heat with cinnamon and lemon zest until everything's mushy and then take a potato masher to it. Add sweetener if you need to, but depending on how sweet your apples are, you might not want to.

   Here are four apples of different varieties, peeled and coarsely chopped, with about half a lemon's worth of zest and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I added maybe a quarter cup of water to it and it was WAAAAY too much, so it really does vary. There are some great recipes available if you need more guidance than that (the one in Yellow Rose Recipes is really good) but trust me, it really is that easy. You probably will eat the jarred stuff again because it's convenient and good to have around for baking with, but you'll wish you had homemade instead.

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