The most important reason I homeschool is that I want to spend time with my children and make lots of memories. Their adulthood will be so much longer than their childhood. I want them to remember I offered them not just quality time, but also quantity time.
This is where fall traditions come in. We could can applesauce any other month of the year. When I called a farmer once to check if they had apples, she almost burst out laughing and informed me the only month they do NOT have apples is February. September and October equal canning to me probably because my own mother canned during the fall.
We got so busy in September, we bumped canning to October. On the 30th, I figured it was that day or never. So all four of us got into the car and headed for the apple orchard.
We bought two bushels of apples because I wanted to produce 24 quarts of applesauce. My recipe is simple, straight out of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving: 3 lbs of apples per quart of applesauce. I do not use sugar at all. Just 2-3 cups of water per pot so the apples do not stick while cooking.
My son helped with the peeler-corer-slicer. Of course, it counted as Home Ec. In fact, that whole day went down in the books as a homeschool day with a field trip and a home ec project (besides Bible and reading books with daddy in English and with mommy in Romanian and French). My daughter helped with washing the apples. She said at one point, “This is so much fun…”
One pot heats up the water for the sealing process. The other cooks the apples down.
I process seven jars at one time, for 20 minutes.
And the result of our labor of love…
Homeschooling allows us to spend lots of time together, to make memories and establish traditions of different sorts. Canning applesauce is our fall tradition – more so than playing in a pile of leaves or visiting a pumpkin patch.