By Lisa Amstutz
Pictures by Tabitha Shipman
Albert Whitman & Company, 2017
I love Applesauce Day!
Fall is my favorite time of year, when the apples, pumpkins, squash, and other great produce is harvested. I can’t wait to sink my greedy fingers into a box of apples or a trunk-load of pumpkins.
Applesauce Day takes me right into autumn. I can just imagine the fun and tradition of gathering with family to make large amounts of applesauce. What tastes better than homemade applesauce? Nothing! Ok, maybe homemade pumpkin pie or apple cake or pear tartes or . . .
This lovely picture book tells the tale of a family traveling from the big city to the orchards to pick apples and then to grandma’s house to put those apples to good use. What’s special about Applesauce Day is the family heirloom – the applesauce cooking pot. Family traditions and passed-down items are a passion of mine, so I immediately bonded with this tale.
I found Applesauce Day to be well written and beautifully illustrated. Flashbacks! I don’t know that I’ve seen other picture books with flashbacks, but the ones in this book are adorable.
Even though apple season is at an end, boxes of apples are still available. Go ahead. You know you want to read this book and make applesauce. Just imagine the scent of warm apples and cinnamon wafting through your home. See? I can smell it from here.
Make Crock-Pot Applesauce
apples, cinnamon, water
1. Wash, peel, and core apples. Slice into wedges.
2. Put apples in Crock-Pot. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Add about 1/4 cup water.
3. Cover Crock-Pot with lid. Turn heat to high and let it simmer. Occasionally stir and check apples for tenderness.
4. When apples are soft and mushy, use a potato masher to mash the apples into sauce. I love chunks, so I don’t strain it.
5. Eat warm! Cool and put the rest in the fridge. Or freeze individual containers for later.
I love making Crock-Pot Applesauce with my students every fall. Everyone brings 2 apples, no matter what variety, and we put them all together to cook. By the end of the day, everyone in the school wants what’s bubbling in our room!
I’d love to hear (and smell and taste) how your applesauce turns out!