Cooking in the Children's House--#2 Orchard Applesauce

Apple Harvest
O down in the orchard
'Tis harvest time,
And up the tall ladders the fruit pickers climb.
Among the green branches
That sway overhead
The apples are hanging
All rosy and red.
Just ripe for the picking,
All juicy and sweet.
So pretty to look at
And lovely to eat.--Helen Leuty

One of the great pleasures of fall here in the Midwest is a trip to the apple orchard. It is our tradition to take the first field trip of the school year to a local orchard and then come back and make delicious from scratch applesauce. This process--literally orchard to snack table--gives the children a real sense of how one of their favorite foods is created.
First stop is a tour of the apple orchard
then inside to the sorting area
with a peek at the pie and cider making

and the cold storage room!
this orchard has a donut machine...
and lets each child take home a bag of apples!

Back at school we get to the applesauce making--
As it cooks it spreads an aroma of cinnamon apple deliciousness throughout the school. What a wonderful fall tradition to share with each other. Yum!
8 apples                   
¼ t salt
½ cup water
¼ t nutmeg
½ cup sugar
½ t cinnamon
Quarter apples, remove cores and add to water. Stir in sugar, salt, and spices and simmer for one hour. Adjust sugar for sweetness of apple. 
Apple Star
It is very beautiful to take an apple and cut it across the middle because throughout the center you find the shape of a star. You cut apples into very thin slices this way and give them to the children and they eat around the center star.

Apple Facts
What you don’t know about apples will seldom hurt you a bit. Sure, there are experts who know and use certain varieties for certain dishes, and you will too. But all apples are good to eat out of hand depending on your taste for sweet or tart, soft or firm. And there are many varieties good for all purposes. A few of these are:
McIntosh                       Jonathan
Ida                                  Cortland
For pies and baking:
Northern Spy               Wine sap
Wealthy                         Rome Beauty
Baldwin                         Spartan
For lunchboxes and salads:
Red & Golden Delicious             Honey crisp
3 medium apples=1 pound
3 medium apples (peeled & sliced)=2 ¾ cups
1 average apple=80 calories   



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