Friday, July 27, 2012

Accidental Applesauce

When Mj was just starting to eat solid food I really got into this kick that I was going to make my own baby food and life was going to rock!!  And Mj would love anything and everything I would make because I am the greatest mom in the world!  I wonder how many other mom's felt the same way.  Making homemade baby food wasn't really that hard but unfortunately she didn't like everything that I made and than there were things that she just couldn't get enough of and I now pay the price of having to make it for the rest of my life.  Good thing I really love to cook!

Applesauce so yummy!!!!
One accidental recipe that I made was applesauce in the slow cooker when Mj was about 4 or 6 months old.  I remember that I found a really delicious and easy sounding recipe for apple confit on Eating Well's website.  It was so simple peel and core some apples, toss in a little sugar, some cinnamon and some vanilla extract and let cook for a couple of hours.  Well I did everything that the recipe says but I didn't know that my mom's crockpot had a mind of it's own.  I let it cook on high for 2 hours and when I took the lid off it didn't look like the picture on their website.  Like so many times in life I decided to improvise.  The apples were wedges but not.  When you tried to pick up one with a spoon it would fall apart so while trying to figure out what to do I spied in my canister that I keep the spatulas and spoons and such my potato masher.  
I took the potato masher and said screw it and mashed it all up let it cool and put it in the fridge.  Usually for breakfast I gave her some fruit mixed in with her rice cereal.  It was the only way I could get her to eat it.  Can't say I blame her rice or even oatmeal baby cereal doesn't look really that appetizing. So I decided that I would give her a taste before I mixed some in with her cereal.  No use wasting a bowl of cereal if she doesn't like the applesauce.  I gave her a taste and she couldn't get enough of it!  Mixed it in with her cereal and life really did rock that morning!  
Not wanting her to get too much sugar I decided to play around with the recipe a little.  The first change I made was substituting raw sugar for the white sugar in the original recipe.  I did that for about a month and than when I was really busy when I was making a batch of applesauce I put everything in the crockpot except the sugar.  By the time I figured it out the applesauce was already half done and decided that this time I would leave it out and hope that no one noticed.  When it was finished I nervously decided to take a taste and greatfully found that it tasted wonderful.  Now here is where I screwed up in reverse as my dad would say.  I gave her my "accidental applesauce" exclusively.  I even learned how to can it which was a skill I never in a million years thought I would ever learn.  One night when Mj was probably 18-months old or so and I had to work late Jeff took her to dinner at Applebee's. He ordered her the usual chicken fingers that she loves and knowing that she love's applesauce he was trying to be the really good daddy and ordered that as her side.  When dinner came she ate all of her chicken fingers and started eating his too.  When Jeff tried to give her some of the applesauce she took a taste and gave Jeff a dirty look while it started to dribble out of her mouth and down her chin.  So to make up for it dessert that night was a bowl of mommy's applesauce!

3 lbs of Gala apples, peeled and cored
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp real vanilla extract (optional)
1.  Mix all ingredients  together in a large mixing bowl.
2.  Place ingredients into a crockpot and cook on high for 2.5-3 hours or until apples are soft.
3.  If you like chunky applesauce you can use a potato masher to mash it.  If you like smooth applesauce put it into a blender or food processor until you reach the consistency you desire.
If you like applesauce that is sweet you can add 1/4 cup raw sugar.  I usually can the applesauce and I find that I can usually put up 4-6 pint jars.

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