Fair-going and apple-saucing

Fair-going and apple-saucing

Kateri sleeping On Saturday, Melanie and I went to Topsfield Fair with my sister Evelyn, her husband Peter, and their two girls, Kateri and Chiara. The Fair is billed as the oldest continuously operating agricultural fair in the US at 180 years old.

It was a lot of fun with all the customary and fun activities from barns full of animals and 4H gardening and farming awards to the midway rides to musical acts to all the food. In fact, Melanie will tell you that for the first half hour I walked around pointing out all the different kinds of food I wanted. The freshly squeezed hot apple cider and apple crisp a la mode were especially good. Kateri and Chiara had a blast too, although they were exhausted by the end of the day. Kateri was so tired she fell asleep sitting on my shoulders, slumped completely over and snoring in my ear.

Afterward, Melanie came back to my place and we made homemade applesauce using the apples we picked last week, along with the fresh cider and local honey we bought at the same place. And, boy, was it good. We then canned a bunch of quarts so we can enjoy it for a long time (although I wonder if it will last that long.) I missed canning tomatoes and berries (for jam) so I’m having to find some later harvested fruits to can.

But Melanie’s applesauce recipe sure is good. Mmmm. I wish you all could try it.

  • But Melanieo at the Minnesota State Fair. Or at least I can’t imagine apple crisp a la mode (unless it’s an apple crisp ice cream bar. ?? Love fairs! 

  • I’ll have to ask her for it before I can post it. I was busy peeling and coring apples and getting the Bell jars ready.

    Oh yeah, I had fried dough. And an Italian sausage. And a pretzel. And the apple crisp. And the hot cider. I think I have a tummy ache.

  • yes, the fried dough was especially yummy.
    The applesauce is pretty easy. Essentially I boil the apples in cider instead of water, just a half cup is enough for three or four pounds, especially if the apples are juicy. I put in stick cinnamon and cloves and some fresh lemon juice too. (sometimes fresh grated nutmeg as well, but not this time). Boil about 20 mintues or until a fork easily slides into the bigger chunks. Since I like my sauce chunky, I don’t mash it—which makes this receipe very easy because you only have to fish out the cloves and cinnamon sticks and put in a few tablespoons of honey and you’re done.
    If you want instructions on how to do the canning bit, you’ll have to ask Dom.

  • Sounds like you didn’t have to eat everything on a stick like they do at the Minnesota State Fair. Or at least I can’t imagine apple crisp a la mode (unless it’s an apple crisp ice cream bar. ?? Love fairs! 

  • No, but you could find food on a stick if you wanted. I saw corn on the cob on a stick and corn dogs on sticks. But there was a huge variety of eats, everything from turkey legs to cannolis.

  • Thanks for reminding me:  it’s cider time in Michigan, too—have to get up to Yates’ Cider Mill ASAP. 

    There is nothing quite like fresh cider and warm cake donuts on a sunny October afternoon.  A little foretaste of heaven, in my book.

  • Dale,

    Between your yearnings for cider and the old cider mill and your post on St. Josaphat’s, you make me wanna go home…at least for a spell.

    (Maybe after the Sox screw up the playoffs and yes I understand they beat the Angels on their own turf.)