Once upon a time there was a little apple tree sitting on the shelf of a store. It sat there, ever hopeful throughout the whole growing season, waiting for someone to buy and plant it. The right person never came though, and the apple tree started to droop. It lost a few leaves, and spring turned into summer. It was marked down and pushed to the back to make way for summer blooms. Still, no one bought it. Fall came around and the little tree languished. It drooped, lost a few more leaves and the price was cut again. This time it was set out for final clearance, marked down to just a fraction of it’s original price. A family came along and saw a deal. They bought the sad little tree and planted it with no real hope for it’s future. If it grew, then great, if it didn’t, no big loss.
The little tree did grow slowly, year after year, but it never produced fruit, not year after year. Then slowly it started to grow a few small apples. With no pesticides to help it fend off cedar-apple rust, and all the other bugs, fungus and other apple loving pests, the few apples the tree did produce were inedible. This sad cycle continued, year after year, for decades.
Nearby a crab apple tree started to grow. Crab apples have naturally strong defenses against the same pests that plagued the no-longer little apple tree. The now very large and powerful apple tree had a friend to help pollinate it’s many thousands of blossoms. There is power in numbers, and the little crab apple and the big apple tree worked together to produce a bumper crop—a bumper crop on both the trees.
Forty years after almost dying a sapling in a bargain bin, the now-giant apple tree spewed forth such an abundance of apples that the family could not keep up. Boxes and boxes of apples were picked, bushels and bushels boiled up into apple sauce, cooked down into apple butter and crunched up by children and grandchildren as snacks. Still, the sheer weight of the abundant harvest caused branches to break and hundreds of apples fell unused to the ground to feed hungry squirrels, chipmunks, deer and bugs.
The mighty apple tree had prevailed. It beat the odds and produced perfect, tasty, beautiful fruit, without pesticides, without careful pruning, and without fancy pedigrees. And the crab apple produced many jars of delicious, bright pink crab apple jelly. Those two apple trees are a perfect metaphor for us all. None of us need to listen to what we are supposed to do. Just keep calm, help your neighbor and grow. Everything will work out as long as you just keep calm and grow.
This is a very basic recipe for unsweetened applesauce. I use it all the time in the kitchen. I add it to pancakes, muffins and breads. Using sweetened applesauce just won’t do when baking. I like to add my own sugar in my own way when cooking. The kids usually like a little sugar in their applesauce though, so when they want some to eat, I stir a little sugar into the already made unsweetened version. I can’t be bothered with peeling apples. Since I use organic apples, I just don’t. If your apples are low spray or conventional apples, peeling the apples is an important step to prevent pesticides from ending up in your applesauce. This recipe is fast and easy, and it tastes of apples and autumn and nothing else. Enjoy!
Want to know what to do with your applesauce? Here’s some options from Cooking Light:
- Fig, Applesauce and Almond Breakfast Loaf
- Hearty Pancakes
- Chocolate Banana Snack Cake
- Sweet Potato Crunch
- Old-Fashioned Gingerbread
- Tangy Chicken Legs