Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

Sunday Inspiration

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Applesauce Day ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

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Applesauce Day

By Lisa Amstutz

Pictures by Tabitha Shipman

Albert Whitman & Company, 2017

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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.

KID KANDY

Make Crock-Pot Applesauce

Ingredients:

apples, cinnamon, water

Directions:

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.

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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!


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Early Pumpkin Harvest

Safe and gorgeous

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I harvested 8 pumpkins this morning.

It’s August.

Harvesting pumpkins in August just does not sound right. Especially when it will be around 90 later this afternoon.

Not right at all.

Extenuating circumstances encouraged me to wade deep in the bristly pumpkin patch and knee high grass to grasp my favorite orange fall buddies. Er, I mean, signs of the season. Sure, I talk to my pumpkins. And those dratted slugs and squash bugs. I do admit to speaking kindly to my pumpkin pals. Not so much with the vermin.

Doesn’t everyone talk to their plants and garden inhabitants? No? Hmmm.

Slugs. They were eating HOLES in my pumpkins! I rolled one large pumpkin over and a huge spotted slug, probably 3-4 inches long when stretched out, was coiled comfortably in the blossom end hollow. UGH. Tiny little slime booger slugs were creeping all over as well.

Odd. Spring. Weather. We had the weirdest spring. That is all I can blame on the extremely early crops. It was very warm, very hot, and then very cold. Plants in my area don’t know what to do. Except grow.

Squash bugs. I’ve been so busy packing up the house, I missed recognizing the sign of yellowed leaves that indicated I had extra special garden pest visitors. Why, those hungry little insects have moved right in!

Orange. These pumpkin babies were colorful and ready to visit my porch.

Snip, snip, tug, and off we went away from hungry mouths to the safety of shade and protection.

Fall (in August) here we come!

How is your garden growing this year?


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Cherry Picking Time!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

It’s cherry picking time in the Yakima Valley.

A total of 7 children and adults plus our tour guide Mr. T. visited a local fruit ranch to pick not-quite-full containers of fresh ripe delectable cherries.

Not only did we have fun traipsing through the cherry trees and orchard rows, the young fruit pickers learned several new things.

Picking cherries is harder than it looks.

It’s takes lots of cherries to fill even tiny buckets. Lots.

It’s more fun to visit and play than pick cherries.

Don’t use the port-o-potties (as advised by Mr. T.).

It was a great outing. Plus I have a big bowl of the yummiest cherries just waiting to be gobbled up.

Fresh and raw, pitted and baked. Any way, any time.

Cherry season!