We subscribed to Taste of Home for a short stint when I was in Jr. High. I spent endless hours reading every single word of those magazines. Pouring over pages full of delicious, not so health conscious recipes was the beginning of my cookbook obsession, I think.
My favorite column in Taste of Home was, and is still, My Mom’s Best Meal. Readers share the recipes that showcase their mom’s best home cooked meal. There’s heritage and story, flavor and tradition in each column’s tribute to a mom and her best meal. The selected recipes speak of time around the table, of hospitality and love.
Though I no longer get a Taste of Home in my mailbox every month, I’ve often considered what I would choose for my mom’s best meal. My mom is a phenomenal cook/baker/entertainer so I have plenty of options. However, I keep returning to one meal – comfort food at its best – that was a staple in our home growing up.
My Mom’s Best Meal
- Oatmeal Muffins
- Maple Bacon Green Beans
- Macaroni and Cheese
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my mom’s best meal, one recipe at a time. I’m starting today with my mom’s applesauce.
More often than not, a jar of Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce graced our table. It was an especially good accompaniment to pork chops and rice pilaf (another favorite meal of mine). It was a huge treat when mom made applesauce from scratch.
When my mom explained the process, I was shocked to find out how easy it was to make your own applesauce. The hardest part is peeling the apples and that’s more time consuming than difficult. The time is a small price to pay for the fresh, pure taste of homemade applesauce.
Now, this isn’t a condiment like the Crockpot Apple Butter I shared in December, which you can spread on anything. Homemade applesauce is chunky and fresh compared to a concentrated, thick apple butter. This is a perfect side dish for any meal and when you make it yourself, you can feel good about feeding it to your family – from babies to grandparents.
Mom’s Homemade Applesauce
- 8 apples, Golden Delicious are a good choice
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel apples and cut into large chunks. Place apples in a large saucepan with water. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until apples are tender, stirring once or twice.
Remove from heat. Drain off approximately 3/4 cup of liquid and set aside. Mash apples with a potato masher. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
Reserved liquid, additional brown sugar or cinnamon may be added to sauce to achieve desired taste/texture.
Yield: about 4 cups
NOTE: I generally end up adding all the reserved liquid back because it seems to reabsorb as it chills. You can serve it at any temperature, but I prefer cold applesauce. The water can be replaced with apple juice (Martinelli’s is best!) for extra flavor.
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