Apples Apples Apples

It just wouldn’t be late August without the rolling in of harvest season. I think it makes the idea of crisp chilly mornings just a little more bearable knowing that the best produce of the year is also right around the corner.

Last summer I was lucky enough to get to pick some apples from my friends backyard tree and I was so hopeful she would offer the same again. She did! Last week I spent the morning with her and came home with about half a big diaper box full. Ooh the possibilities!

These apples aren’t sweet and are made for cooking so I knew I had a busy afternoon of apple prepping ahead of me. Last year I made some apple crisps but I didn’t have any of the ingredients on hand to whip those up. I decided on apple pie filling and apple sauce that I would stash in the freezer until needed. I make my apple pie filling the way my Mama does and it doesn’t seem to be the way any of my friends here do theirs. It must be a British method! I start by stewing my apples on the stovetop before getting them in to my pie crusts, as opposed to filling the crusts with raw apple slices. Is this odd? I’ve never met an apple pie I didn’t like.. but I must say my Mama’s pie is my very favourite.

First things first- I had to peel, core and chop the apples. The apples were small so this took me forever! To keep the apples from getting brown throughout the process I kept them in a big pot of water. When I had gotten through about half the apples I rinsed the apples in the pot and then filled the pot with water until it was about an inch below the top of the apples.

Adding sugar is an important part of this process. I can’t offer you a measurement, it’s all by judgement depending on the amount of apples. Start with a quarter cup and taste test once the stewing down has started. You can always add more if needed. If you like cinnamon with your apples go ahead and add some here, also. I chose not to as I wasn’t sure what my end result of these apples would be.

Stir the apples from time to time, keeping them over a low heat. The goal is to soften the apples, but you don’t want to turn them to mush. Once you’re happy with the tenderness you want to get them out of the hot water. I spooned them into a strainer with a slotted spoon and reused the flavourful water for the second batch of apples. Once cooled I divided the stewed apple chunks into 3 portions to use as pie filling at a later date.

The second batch of apples I stewed longer to a much more tender state, then drained and mashed them to make apple sauce. I divided this into 3 portions and got into freezer bags to use at a later time.

Label and date your freezer bags and get them into the freezer only when fully cooled.

And there you have it! My weekday apple adventure. By the end of the process the house smelt absolutely amazing. No essential oil or scentsy could come close to that smell!

What would you create with a box of apples?

Until next time, friends. ❤ Kochiemama

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Hello September

“Don’t you just love New York in the Fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name & address” – You’ve Got Mail

This morning we woke in September, can you believe that?! The first day of September is bittersweet; I am oh so sad to see another Summer come to an end, but finally my favourite time of year has arrived! Those long warm evenings are drawing to and end to make way for those cool crisp mornings. You know what that means? Sweaters! And, boots! And, scarves, cardigans, cute jackets, pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I already had one today!), comfort food, and baking season!

September first is my reset button. January is a great time for reflection and envisioning where I would like to new year to take me, but when it comes down to getting myself and my life back into routines and focused on resolutions then September is my jam.

With four months left in the year I’m setting myself some resolutions:

  1. MEAL PLAN
    This is something I used to do really well at. I’ve become pretty lazy in the kitchen department over the last few months. Summer is a difficult time for cooking because it’s hot and, let’s face it, no one feels like turning on oven when its +30 degrees. All one really feels like doing is sitting around eating ice cream treats (or is that just me?).
    I resolve to meal plan the month as a whole for the next four months.

  2.  CUT THE GROCERY SPENDING
    How I spend SO much on groceries I don’t understand. I have spent over the budget every single month this year. Two months totaling more than $200 OVER the budget. How! I admit to being lazy with meal planning but I haven’t entirely given up. I stock up when my needs are on sale, I buy in bulk, I don’t buy an awful lot of “packaged” foods and snacks, and we rarely order in or take out. Even better planning and some more frugality will hopefully curb this one.
    I resolve to save $50 from the grocery budget each month. 
  3. EAT BREAKFAST
    I would say overall my nutrition since becoming a parent has declined to an all time low. Most days I’m running on caffeine and the occasional cookie or cracker snack until suppertime. The problem with breakfast is that I use the time that the Little Man is eating to throw myself together for the day or get a chore taken care of while he is occupied. But, I can’t continue this way.
    I resolve not to have coffee unless I’ve had breakfast.
  4. RECONNECT WITH YOGA
    I haven’t been to yoga since early in my second trimester (so, almost two years ago!). I miss it.
    I resolve to go to yoga at least four times each month.
  5. CATCH UP ON PHOTO ALBUMS & VIDEO COMPILATION & BABY BOOK
    Liam turned one in March. Everything got so crazy with getting back into work and regular life that I didn’t get the chance to ever sit down and finish filling in his first year milestones and fun things in his baby book. I must do this- As time passes I know I am forgetting things. Hubs and I need to pull all our videos off our devices and get them into a movie to keep these precious moments safe. I haven’t printed photo’s for our baby photo album since before last Christmas so I need to update that. Come to think of it, I never printed our wedding (3 years ago) photos either.
    I resolve to catch up on family multimedia. 
  6. MOVE
    Our house has been for sale for more than two months now. We thought we would have been moved and settled somewhere new by the end of the summer but that has now passed and we are still here. My new hope is that we have moved before Halloween, or, at the very least, before there is snow on the ground. This one is out of our hands until the right buyer comes along. So, here’s to hoping!
  7. MAKE SOME ME-TIME
    One of the biggest things I need to start making some time for is myself. Its hard juggling moming, wifeing, working, friending, and just regular everyday lifeing. It’s hard some days just to find the time (and the energy) to shower. I need to make self care a priority. And, you know what? I think I’ll start by sitting down to watch “You’ve Got Mail”- my favourite movie for this time of year.
    I resolve to take some time for myself once a week.

Welcome, September. I’ve been waiting for you.

❤ Kochiemama