Today was another glorious autumn day. I’m in heaven. For the first time ever (since I have my first yard ever) we planted tulip and daffodil bulbs! I had no idea that planting flower bulbs was such a titillating anticipatory experience.

Tucking those little round nodules in the soil reminded me of a very odd habit I had as a child. Now and then, I would choose one of my favorite items and hide it from myself. It was never my most favorite item but something I really liked, would miss and then be thrilled to find again. Specifically, I recall putting some dress-up lipsticks and earrings in a paper bag and dropping it behind my bookshelf. Since I enjoyed rearranging my room, I knew I was bound to discover them later. It usually worked. After some time, I forgot about what I had hidden from myself and was always overjoyed to uncover my own stealth hideouts.

Today, as I nestled the flowers in for the long, cold Chicago winter, I felt the same surge of excitement. I knew I would forget about the bulbs for the most part until one warm day, a tiny peek of green would remind me of all my hidden treasure! I resisted my urge to veer from the flower beds and dot the entire lawn with them here and there. Had I done so, I would really be surprised about where the bright gems would pop up.

This report of my gardening adventure and childhood oddities has nothing to do this recipe except to say that I have autumn fever!! My friend, a self-proclaimed fruit whore who can’t leave the piles of bruised fruit at the market where she works, brought me loads of apples recently so I took my first stab at homemade applesauce. Since I am trying to decrease sugar intake and keep Mini Whipped from the habit, I omitted it all together. With just the simplest of ingredients, I concocted a hot pot of the dreamiest applesauce in just 30 minutes. Sure, peeling and chopping the apples is a bit of a chore but I did it while talking to a friend and was done before I knew it. The result was well worth all my efforts. Perhaps I should tuck some deep in the back corner of my freezer…

Homemade Applesauce – No Sugar Added

8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut in chunks
I used a variety of apples. Some suggest only cooking apples.
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel, core and cut the apples into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a sauce pan and add the lemon juice. Stir them around. Add the water and the cinnamon and salt. Put the pan on high heat until it boils. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. For smoother applesauce, use a potato masher to mash large chunks.


Serve hot or cold. Keep in airtight container in the fridge or freeze for up to a year.