Grant is an eating machine. Most days, I nurse him until dinner time and then he eats with us at the table. He currently eats 3 oz. of fruits and 3 oz. of veggies plus cereal for dinner and then nurses again before bed. (On days that I have to teach, he eats all meals by spoon and then nurses like mad in the late afternoon and evening - 3 oz. fruit and cereal for breakfast, 3 oz. fruit and 3 oz. veggies plus cereal for lunch.) With that said, we're running low on frozen baby food and sadly, the growing season for fresh produce has come to an end as well. Some things I can buy fresh/frozen at the store, but I love to buy 1/2 pecks of apples or peaches at the Farmers Market. Grant typically eats peach sauce or apple sauce (we're out of everything else - mangoes, cherries, etc.) so I stopped last night to pick up peaches, but they're all gone. Apples, however, are aplenty!
I always borrow my Mom's colander, but she is making her own batch of applesauce so I decided this morning to try my hand at Crock-Pot Applesauce. While poking around the internets this morning, I read about apples being one of the members of the "dirty dozen."
(Sounds like a gang, doesn't it?) I've always made my applesauce with skin-on, just like my mama does because "That's where all the fiber is!" I never thought about buying organic apples. I just thought I was doing my babies a favor by making their food. Hmmpf. Guess not.
1/2 peck of MacIntosh Apples
1/2 C. water (or cider if you wish to make apple butter, instead of sauce)
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. vanilla
dash of nutmeg & cloves
Since I didn't have a colander, I needed to peel my apples and core them before cooking. Using the Crock-Pot also meant that I didn't forget about the apples on the stove and letting it A.) boil over or B.) water evaporated and the apples burned the bottom of my pan or C.) hand wash Mom's antique colander and wooden smasher-thing.**
I put everything in the Crock-Pot and have let it cook on high (you should cook it on LOW, but I'm running out of time before dinner). I've opened it up a few times to stir, about once an hour - 90 minutes. Cook up to 8 hours on low or until you've reached your desired consistency. We'll eat it chunky for dinner, but for Grant I'll blend it into a puree with our handy dandy Magic Bullet. You could also use a blender or food processor. I just happen to have a MB that sat in the cupboard collecting dust for 8 years before it ever saw the light of day. MIL is a sucker for infomercials! I was so close to donating the box to Good Will, but decided to give it a try when making baby food for Ellie.
For the pork chops, I haven't decided how I'm going to cook them, since the apples are in the Crock-Pot. Usually, I'll make the whole meal in one skillet. (In a large skillet over medium heat, cook pork chips in 1 T. butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees...) Or, I might pan fry them tonight, but last time I did that, I wound up with 17 burns and blisters on my thigh from hot, splattering grease :o/