Half-bushel something #1: apple sauce

I may have purchased too many apples.

Christine and I were at an orchard recently and I realized that a peck (a reasonable amount) was only a couple dollars less than a half-bushel (a huge amount). Obviously, I went with the savings and got the half-bushel. In order to not waste these delicious McIntosh apples, I need to do something, or a few somethings, with them. This is the first something: apple sauce.

Homemade apple sauce is cheap, easy, and delicious.

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I’m going to use about twenty apples, because that’s how many I can fit in the pot I want to use. If you have a smaller pot, feel free to use fewer apples. If you have a larger pot, use more.

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Peel. For 20 apples, this took about 10 minutes.
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Dice. This took me another 10ish minutes.

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Add to a large pot with a bit of water to prevent the apples from sticking before they break down and get all juicy.

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Turn your put onto medium heat and cook until the apples have totally broken down (about an hour), stirring occasionally.

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Blend or leave chunky. I chose to blend because I own an immersion blender, which I don’t use often enough.
I don’t add anything to my apple sauce, as you can always add it right before eating. Also, apples sauce is a great substitute for eggs in making, so it’s prudent to keep the sauce plain in case cinnamon would negatively affect the flavor of the baked good.
You can add sugar, honey, cinnamon, berries, or whatever else you might like right before eating.

Well sealed, applesauce will keep in the fridge for about three weeks.

Added benefit: this tasty treat is accidentally vegan!

Banana Bread with Raisins and Walnuts

I love to cook and bake and am planning to add a recipe or kitchen-related post weekly. Today, I made banana bread with raisins and walnuts.

Banana bread is a “quick bread.” The ‘quick’ part of the phrase refers to the fact that it doesn’t use yeast as a rising agent (typically, quick breads use baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of the two). ‘Quick’ definitely doesn’t refer to baking time; quick breads take about an hour to bake. The ‘bread’ part is kind of misleading: the quick bread I made today happens to be bread-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be. Muffins and a lot of cakes (carrot cake, for example), are really just quick breads.

This is a particularly easy recipe that takes about 10 minutes to put together, unless you’re being all fancy and taking photos to put on your blog. Then it takes like 45 minutes.

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Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan.

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2. Peel, chop, and mash bananas.

3. Mix eggs and bananas. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

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4. Crush walnuts like a cave man. Fold them gently into your quick bread like a gentleman.

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5. On a whim, add another 1/2 cup of walnuts and a 1/2 cup of raisins.

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6. Mix to combine and pour into prepared loaf pan.

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7. Place on middle rack and bake for an hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Realize that you need to clean your oven. While the loaf bakes, clean your kitchen and begin to upload photos to your blog.

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8. Allow loaf to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Slice and serve!

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Wrap what you don’t immediately eat in tinfoil; it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 damonths wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to three months. For easier thawing, slice the banana bread and wrap separately in plastic wrap before freezing all the slices together in one freezer bag.