So, it seemed like I was stockpiling quite a lot of apples from Big Stone Apple Ranch–a not-quite-full bag of Honeycrisps and then there was that peck of gorgeous Cortlands I bought the other day.

It was getting a little out of control, and counter space was at a premium.

But I have an eight-year-old son and a secret weapon: a fun-to-use whiz-bang apple peeler/corer/slicer machine.  I didn’t realize what a perfect combination this would prove until we pulled out the machine last night just to see if it would really work.

I had absolutely no inclination to process a whole peck of apples last night, but that’s what happened–once we saw how slick that machine worked, we broke open that bag of Cortlands and began good-naturedly arguing about whose turn it was to process the next apple.

They went in the pot to cook down, and this morning I ran it through the strainer, added some brown sugar and cinnamon, sought M’s taste-test approval (YES!), then canned five pints–three of which he gets to take back to his dad’s at the end of the weekend.

I don’t know about you, but I often have trouble getting my son to eat homemade foods made from fresh ingredients.

Just like a lot of kids, he has been exposed to a lot of processed foods at school (and other places, too), and that tends to be the standard he judges by.  He likes McNuggets and the chicken patties and corn dogs he gets at school, no matter how often his mom rails against “fake food.”

But there are some foods I can make at home that are a close enough approximation to what he’s used to (and often end up tasting better) that I can get them into his diet.

Homemade pasta and cheese–either with homemade cheese and yogurt or dehydrated cheese powder mixed with yogurt and whatever pasta shape appeals to him (and he does like whole wheat) is a winner–he likes it better than boxed kinds.

Homemade pizza is a little more iffy–it’s a combination of foods to begin with, and each part is slightly different than what comes on a pre-made pie. But he’ll still eat it.

Homemade apple sauce was never a big hit until I found out it was the texture rather than the food itself that was a problem.

The sauce we made has a lot less sugar than the commercial varieties; there’s no weird and funky additives, and the apples are fresh and local.

But the best part of all is that we had fun together making it!


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