Recently we had one of those experiences where the marketing of the event differed greatly from the reality. Sort of like the movie trailer that made the movie appear to be worth the $10 ticket price only to find out that the trailer showed the best three minutes of the movie and that much you saw for free.
In our case the marketing lure was that we could make applesauce for free. Reality came in the form of the gadgets needed to make applesauce. Turns out you can get free apples – that’s called being neighborly. If you try to get free kitchen appliances they call it shoplifting.
Chief among the must-have appliances for this kitchen adventure was the Roma fruit sieve – an indispensable gadget for separating fruit pulp from stems, seeds, and skin. Mind you, we used to own a perfectly fine food mill that accomplished the same thing, albeit a bit more slowly, but in a fit of downsizing before our last move, that food mill went the way of the pasta maker and the sushi kit: The Yard Sale. Those last two have yet to replaced with newer models but there has already been talk of the “need” for a pasta maker. Stay tuned.
The apples lived up to their billing and were free – generously given up by various neighbors in response to a post on a neighborhood chat group. It turns out that when apple trees get big they can bear more fruit than any one family could hope to consume. We were glad to help. We made it a family adventure one Saturday morning tooling around on the Xtracycles, ladder and Junior in tow, gathering our apples. Junior was a huge help, inspecting apples for worm holes, and tasting a few along the way.
Alas we needed something to grind up all the apples that we picked, so off we went to McGuckin Hardware, home of every kitchen gadget not to be found at any ordinary big box retailer. A quick spin through the Kitchen Department got us to our prey and we were off and running.
Once we were back at the ranch, Junior was also fascinated with the applesauce making process – he inspected quartered apples for holes and turned the giant crank on the fruit sieve. He didn’t care much for the latter part of the process where we canned our bounty – no knives or cool gadgets, just a bunch of boiling water.
Our Take: “free” is only partially correct but now that we have the tools, the next batch will be free. Little boys like sharp knives and kitchen gadgets that mash things up.
Fruit Sieve, $58
16qt stock pot: $39
Making apple sauce with your 4-yr-old: priceless