Currently it has become very important to know where your food has come from, who has grown it, and under what circumstances. Food has been on our minds more and more lately especially with mass-scale food safety concerns. Post-war saw the introduction of chemical farming to our food supply, the effects of which are slowly becoming known.
Photo: Chris Millar 2012
A while back when there was no snow on the ground my husband and I went to our friends’ house to pick apples from their two large trees. These trees were huge! One of them must have been close to 100 years old judging from the age of the house and the neighborhood. In my city 100 years is pretty old. In this city it is common to tear down buildings and build new rather than to preserve and restore. Anyway these unnamed apple trees were massive and had been growing wildly and unattended for some time. This meant no pesticides or herbicides, no fertilizer.
The afternoon was so much fun, full of apples falling on our heads. One tree was too tall for a ladder to reach the top so we climbed up and used a combo of sticks and shaking to try to knock the apples down. They weren’t the prettiest sort being full of beak marks, but they were full of flavour. We collected so many that I wanted to make applesauce. I chose to preserve the sauce by canning but freezing the sauce in small batches would also work.
If you are interested in canning you can find many resources on the internet. I referred to this post to verify how to safely make and can the sauce. A few pointers when making sauce: peel and core apples thoroughly so that the finished product is better; don’t overload your sauce with sugar or spices; taste as you go; and keep everything clean and organized when you are working. As a final touch I made some labels for the jars to fancy them up for sharing with people. I think I must have gone through 40 lbs of apples which made 13 L of sauce.