There is nothing better than a family gathering where food is shared,
stories are told, and traditions are passed down. Holidays seem to be
a good time for these get-togethers, and for some of us, they bring a
sense of peace and comfort to our home.
In my family, a family holiday favorite is my grandma’s homemade
applesauce. She used to make it for every family gathering and
holiday, and it was always the first treat to have the empty dish
cleared from the table. It is sweet, flavorful, and always satisfying.
It was absolutely my favorite food on the table for every holiday.
When I graduated from college and moved to Alaska, I couldn’t make it
home for the first time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My grandmother
didn’t forget my love of her applesauce, and instead she sent me
carefully wrapped jars of her delicious sauce so I could still enjoy
it from far away.
Making a New Tradition
After my grandmother passed away in 2015, I was devastated for many reasons. When I flew home for her funeral, my dad gave me a hug and then handed me her hand-crank food mill that she used so often to make my favorite dish. this was the greatest gift she could have ever left me and I think of her every time I use it to make her famous applesauce. Every fall I look forward to picking apples from a friend’s apple tree and then making a fresh batch of sauce the same way she did. I make it at least three times a year for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; as well as any time I am missing my grandmother or craving her sweet treat. It is a tradition I look forward to passing on to my own daughter someday, and even though it is one little part of our holiday, it is the part I most look forward to.
Here’s how to Make It:
1) Pick and wash apples (any variety you prefer, I have used several kinds and have enjoyed them all)
2) Remove the cores of the apples then cut apples into approximately half-inch chunks
3) Boil apple pieces in water until they are soft and just starting
to get mushy (usually about 10-12 minutes)
4) Drain water and gradually add apple pieces to hand-crank mill
(Here is a newer version of the one I use)
5) Process all apples in the mill over a large bowl to catch the sauce
6) Add sugar, cinnamon, or any other spices to taste (I usually only
add cinnamon as I think the plain sauce is just the right amount of
sweet without needing extra sugar)
My grandmother used to add melted cinnamon candies to her sauce at the
end to add a little sweetness, a little spice, and mostly because it
would turn her sauce a beautiful bright pink color. This sauce can be
served warm or cold, and it is always guaranteed to be a