Preserving: Applesauce

Canning used to be the only way the family farm could enjoy fruit and the flavors of summer during winter months. Farmers would share resources and can large quantities of apples, peaches, or anything they grew in abundance and could share with the neighbors. My Grandmother Tootie always had homemade applesauce around and she always liked to share. Below is our version of Tootie's applesauce recipe that we love to eat alone, spoon over ice-cream or serve on top of pork chops.  We rarely get to actually canning this recipe because it gets eaten up so quickly from the fridge.  

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.


  • 8-9 Sweet red Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices 
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
  • 1 cup of Apple Cider
  • Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup  Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • Large pinch of Nutmeg & AllSpice 
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 

Cooking Applesauce is extremely forgiving, just make sure to taste as you go. 


1. Combine all of above ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. At about medium heat this should take 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently because you do not want the apples to burn to the bottom of your pot. 

2. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the apple slices break down and become mushy. Continue to stir frequently, and use a potato masher occasionally to help break down the apples. If you want a super chunky apples sauce, stop here and toss sauce into jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate.

3. For a traditional smoother sauce we use an emulsion blender directly into the pot with the heat turned off to puree the sauce. Stand back because the sauce is extremely hot and willing to splatter. 

4. Transfer sauce to mason jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate. Unopened jars will last weeks in the fridge. 

Recipe: Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice


Right now our country's best orange crop is being picked and shipped out to your local market with the sweetest tasting juice beneath it's peal. While you can't run out of ways to use the peaking citrus our favorite and easiest two step method is below. Packed with vitamin C & A, a tall glass of fresh squeezed orange juice will put a smile on your mid-winter scowl and temporarily cure any cold. We mean it. The oranges traveled long enough to get here, don't they deserve a nice squeeze?! 

Citrus Juicer or Squeezer 
Four Naval Oranges per cup of orange juice 

  1. You want to begin with soft room temperature oranges. Warm them in your hands and press them into your counter. 
  2. Slice each orange in half and press and grind the oranges into your juicer. 
  3. Mix in a splash or two or three of Champagne. (OPTIONAL) 

Recipe: Not My Grandmothers Lefse

In Tootie's day she made lefse with something called 'Instant buds'. Thanks to my Mother's likely resentment towards said buds, I really didn't grow up with an intimate knowledge of instant potatoes. But when you are making Lefse for a crowd after all of the potatoes have been claimed, you might turn to Potatoes in an Instant to make life just a littler easier on the farm.

The following is a recipe for Lefse using whole Russet potatoes, and in honor of Tootie we have also included below her favorite never fail recipe from the Appleton Senior Citizen Center. 


Note: You will certainly need a lefse griddle and turning stick. The remaining supplies can be fudged a bit with with more common kitchen supplies.

  • Lefse Griddle 
  • Lefse Stick 1 1/2"
  • Lefse Rolling Pin - Corrugated
  • Rolling Pin Covers
  • Potato Ricer 
  • Potato Peeler
  • Huge pot for boiling potatoes, we used our water bath caner


  • 10 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour



  1. Cover potatoes with water and cook until tender.
  2. Run hot potatoes through a potato ricer or use a cheese grater to essential shred the potatoes. 
  3. Place into a large bowl. Beat butter, cream, salt, and sugar into the hot riced potatoes. This is very important, let cool to room temperature (this will take hours). 
  4. Stir flour into the potato mixture. Pull off pieces of the dough and form into walnut size balls. Lightly flour a pastry cloth and roll out lefse balls to 1/8 inch thickness.
  5. Cook on a hot (400 degree F/200 C) griddle until bubbles form and each side has browned. Place on a damp towel to cool slightly and then cover with damp towel until ready to serve.

Now is the really hard part, do you roll up your lefse with just plain butter or are you a butter and sugar kind of square head? Either way this recipe will make around 60 lefse cakes and is easily stored in the freezer for months. I have been told to let the lefse first cool in a plastic garbage bag so that the cakes absorb as much moisture as possible before freezing. Good luck!



  1. Make Instant potato buds like you would for eating except double the amount of butter used on the directions on back of the box. Also use cream instead of milk. Cool it well.
  2. Use half a cup of flour to each one cup of mashed potatoes and mix these to well together. 
  3. Roll out as thin as possible on a lightly floured cloth board. 
  4. Two cups potatoes and flour makes ten.