Sunday, September 13, 2009

I love fall!

I don't care if it's not officially fall yet or not, it's close enough. And I LOVE it. I love the leaves changing color. The cooler temperatures at night and overall. I love apple picking. I love pumpkins and hayrides. I love the smell in the air. The beginning of sweater weather. And of course football. I love the Browns and I love it when they win. I mean it's so rare that you have to take serious joy when it actually happens... which of course it didn't today. BTW Quinn... the ball gets thrown forward... that's in front of you... just saying...

Today we went for a walk with the boys. The twins in their matching little push behind cozy coupes and Ethan in adventure truck. It was so nice out... ahhh fall. Then I decided to cook fall things. I made a sweet potato and apple dish. I made corn chowder. And I made applesauce. YUM!

The boys LOVE applesauce and we have lots of apples, so I make lots of applesauce (and freeze it). I discovered a month ago that I had the ability to make applesauce with my Kitchen Aid mixer and some attachments (most of which I had). I wish I knew sooner! So, now it is so much easier and less time consuming, not to mention even more nutritious. All I have to do is cut them with an apple cutter and drop the apples into a big pot - cores, seeds, peel and all. Cook on low with a little water, some cinnamon and vanilla until they start to break down and get mushy. Then put them through the fruit strainer on my Kitchen Aid mixer. It spits the yuck stuff into one bowl and the applesauce into another. It is awesome!! It made me fall in love with my Kitchen Aid mixer all over again. Okay, I never actually fell out of love with it, who could? But I do love it, and I promised it more attachments for Christmas so we could discover more abilities and fun things... hey, it needs some gifts too right? Okay, it's for me... (yes, I know I need a life... but really... it IS cool!)

Every time I get out the Kitchen Aid and attachments for applesauce now, Collin promptly pulls up a chair. This, of course, starts the wheels and they all pull up a chair. It's cute, kind of a pain in the rear to work around them, but too cute to stop.

Today, after the excitement was over, Collin stuck around with his toy spoon (as you've probably noticed, he's rarely without these play utensils in his hands... or something else small). As I was tending to the chowder and letting the applesauce cool a bit, Collin decided to help himself.

So, I gave him a little bowl to eat at the center island while I worked on the other stuff. At one point I turned around and caught him dipping his entire bowl in the big bowl of applesauce to refill it. I missed it, though I am assuming he tried refilling it with his tiny spoon and it didn't work fast enough so he went full guns and dipped in the bowl. Smart kid. Messy kid. (I didn't get a photo of it, it was messy, I didn't want to encourage the behavior in any way just for a photo op)

When I made my first batch a month or so ago, I used really red apples (which just happened to be the ones in season at the orchard). Needless to say, my only joy that day was not just discovering how easy it was to make applesauce now (as compared to what I had been doing for years), but when it came out of the strainer and into the bowl it was PINK. So what you say??! My grandmother's pink applesauce is just about my favorite food on the entire planet. She painstakingly sieves it with a colander by hand and makes the most awesome pink applesauce ever... heck the best applesauce of any color. Since I had been peeling, mine was never pink. I told Krissy after this happened that when I saw it come out pink, it was like the mixer had a glow around it and the heavens were singing "aaaaaaaaaaaaa". (again, it's already been established that I need a life) It of course does not taste like grandma's applesauce, but it at least looks like it. Grandma - what the heck is the secret?
Notice, it's pink! And Collin is shoving the yuck parts into his mouth before I could stop him, since I was taking photos and didn't notice. That was a lesson learned quickly though. It cracks me up because the other two are looking at Collin like "you shouldn't... wait... ewww... how'd that work out for you?"

The boys devoured the applesauce after dinner. Wish I could say the same for the corn chowder. Not that it wasn't good, it was. It is just that new things and new consistencies that are completely different than the norm don't go over well. Soup-like things are not something we have often and have yet to be something they like. Oh well, just like any die hard Browns fan would say: "maybe next time."

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