Applesauce is a staple around here.  I seriously serve it 3-4 nights a week as a side dish at dinner.  Our entire family enjoys it and I can find the “no sugar added” kind so I’m particularly one happy momma! 🙂  My absolute favorite is chunky applesauce, but I have yet to find an unsweetened variety anywhere.  I usually just serve it cold with some cinnamon mixed in and it always disappears quickly.  However, the last few times I’ve been to Walmart (where I find it is the best price for the large jar) they have been out. Huge bummer.

I’ve been dreaming of apples and pumpkins for a few months now so it seemed like the perfect time to jump into some sort of huge apple project.  However, all I had was the crock pot.  🙂  I did not have the jars to freeze homemade applesauce  in, I did not have an apple peeler (seriously takes me forever to peel an apple by hand…. let alone pounds of apples) and I had not found a good deal on apples!  So I had pretty much decided this was a pipe dream. 🙂

Then all of a sudden, things started to fall into place.  A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on craigslist of a lady selling pint mason jars for $.15 each and quart mason jars for $.20- score!  I bought 3 or 4 boxes of jars.  And while I would like to branch into canning some day, I was content at this point to just be able to freeze my creations in our deep freeze.  Then about a week later I decided to just put something on twitter and facebook to see if someone had an apple peeler that I could borrow for a bit (mind you, I still did not have any apples!) and my aunt graciously said I could have hers!  We were already planning a trip to Davenport a week later to have dinner with my grandparents so I was able to pick it up 9 days later!  Thank you Aunt Patty!  And- wanna know the icing on the cake?  I think God was smiling on my little adventure because the week I picked up the apple peeler, Fareway had 3lb bag of apples for $.99!  Woot!  I stocked up- like 30lbs of apples stocked up. I figured with my love of chunky applesauce, the great deal on apples and my new handy dandy apple peeler I could freeze gallons of applesauce for the coming months along with some homemade apple pie filling for a quick and healthy (low sugar!) dessert!

Isn’t it pretty? 🙂

Here is the short work is does with the apple peels.

The first 12 lbs of apples that I peeled and made into applesauce earlier this week went fairly well.  However, I did not realize until last night that with a push of a button I could just slide the peeler back to me to start another apple without having to wind it backwards.  Honestly, after those first few days and the loud squeaky noise it made winding it backwards, I needed a break!  I took two days off and asked Jason if he would help me this weekend get some more apples done.  He was looking at it last night and said “Look babe” and showed me how to just pull it back and viola!  So much nicer!  I also decided to skip dicing the apple slices into bite size pieces this morning and let the crock pot do the work of breaking down the apples.  Seriously, took me a matter of minutes to get another 6lbs done and as we speak I have an entire crock pot of applesauce simmering on low.  My house is going to smell awesome once I ad a little lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg!

This was earlier this week when I was dicing all the apple slices… not going to do that again.  But you get the idea.

And the finished product?  Check it!

This was after it cooked on low for about 3 hrs and I added the spices.

I’m seriously excited about having side dishes already done and in the freezer for the next few months!  Once my mom comes next week we are planning a freezer cooking day and I should have a stocked freezer for the next few months! Come on Rocky!! 🙂