Source: Southern Diva Journal
I love living in a climate where each season has its own feeling, mood, temperature, and activities.  Each fall, my husband and I look forward to loading the kids into the car to pick apples in the country.  My husband likes to drive the country roads where trees stretch out their colored limbs, showing off their fiery orange, deep red, or golden leaves.  The kids love to run in the orchards in search of the perfect apple, and I like to soak up the atmosphere: the cool breeze, the smell of hot cider, the children laughing, and the first bite into a juicy, fantastically sweet, crisp apple.

All of these small, yet glorious, celebrations of the season usually go to my head, and before I know it, I'm home with 25 pounds of apples.  In a panic, I break out the cookbooks and begin extensive searches online, in an effort to find everything and anything I might cook or bake containing apples.

This year, though, the orchards were sparse, yielding apples no bigger than a child's fist.  We searched in vain for the beautiful apples we came to expect.  This disappointment led to a small take-home bag, which leads me to an entirely different problem as I search for apple recipes this year.  I have to be discriminating, because I have enough apples for just two recipes.  They've got to be good.

The first on the list?  Applesauce.  I know applesauce seems a bit mundane, but I have my reasons:
  1. My kids love homemade applesauce, and it couldn't be healthier.  When our specially made applesauce is in the refrigerator, the calls for Cheez-its at snack time subside.  As a parent, this makes me fall warm and fuzzy inside
  2. Applesauce made with fresh, local apples doesn't compare to anything you can buy in the store.  It's truly delicious
  3. Applesauce is easy to make.  Since I'm a lazy cook, this is always a top priority.
If you haven't tried making applesauce with your bounty before, I urge you to try it.  Here's what I do:
  1. Peel and core 8 medium sized apples
  2. Slice each apple to make 16 pieces
  3. In a large saucepan, combine apples with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. Set pan over medium-high heat
  5. When apples begin to soften, mash with potato masher.  If you prefer smooth sauce, puree in a food processor

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