I remember the first time I made applesauce. I think I was about 10. My mom and I peeled and cored some apples, tossed them in a pot with some water, sugar and flavorings, and applesauce happened.
"We can do this?" I asked, amazed.
"Well, where did you think applesauce comes from?" answered my mom.
Um, actually, up to that instant, I thought it came from cans or jars.
One of those breakthrough moments: You realize that prepared food is viscerally connected to the fresh item. And that factories have taken over the production. But you can take it back. Simple.
I had a ball seasoning my first homemade applesauce with the predictable flavors of cinnamon and cloves. So "bakery."
If you know me at all, you'll have already guessed I didn't season my applesauce this week the same way. First, fresh bay leaves. I'm religiously devoted to them, so in they went with the apples, water and agave syrup. Second, orange juice and zest. It can't be helped; I am enslaved to an orange tree at the moment, and I love it. OK. And, a pinch of salt.
The applesauce is subtle; not a knockout. It's just... nice. Would I do it differently? Yeah, I'd add in some chile pepper. Heh.
You're asking where the hell did I get apples for the applesauce this time of year. They were a gift from a local friend; Golden Delicious apples that she predicted would have no shelf life at all. Well, they kept really well out in the cold garage for more than a few months, and finally met their happy destiny.
I have two plans for the applesauce. Latkes (potatoes and onions, grated and fried and slathered with sour cream), and deconstructed apple pie (with baked puff pastry and cheddar cheese).
I am becoming less and less fearful of the ownership of fruit trees. Thunderous bounty, but something you can share.