This past Saturday dawned with mist rising from the Kentucky River over the Palisades. It was one of those memorable mornings when you just want to stand outside with a cup of coffee and watch the day begin.
But, I don't have time for that. Today, is Applesauce Day, a family holiday garnering as much participation as any other holiday. Today, we make applesauce. As I set up the work stations and haul the bushels and bushels of apples out of the basement and onto the deck to be washed, I can't help thinking about how important family traditions are.
My mother taught my sisters and I to can vegetables and fruits as soon as we were old enough to help. Then, when I moved to Kentucky, my mom would bring Michigan apples to me every fall and she and I, my dad and any kids who were old enough would pitch in to make applesauce, canning what we had made. I looked forward to it every fall. I have always loved the smell of cooking apples and the satisfaction of seeing all those jars on my shelves, ready with good food for my children.
After mom died I didn't have the heart to carry on by myself. It made me sad. But, my husband said, "Jill. You are the mom now and you need to carry on the tradition. Maybe ask Jenny to help."
So, I called my good friend Jenny, who had a two and a half year old and a baby, and we set the date. My daughter was a great help and with the husbands managing the kids, we had a great day. That was 13 years ago.
Every year since, Jenny and I have had Applesauce Day. They went on to have three more children, my older children have little ones now and we have added another young family and a couple of young couples to our applesauce group. It is a day of fun, work, swapping stories, laughing, older kids toting around little ones and of course apples.
At one point on Saturday I went by the picnic table where three men were cutting up apples. I heard them talking about Tesla coils and it made my smile. So that's what guys talk about on Applesauce Day. I never would have guessed.
It is part of what makes us a unique family. My kids talk about Applesauce Day as if it were Christmas. It is a time to connect and to work together. It is a tribute to my mom and to all the women in my family who have come before.
What do you like to do? What gives you satisfaction? Is it something you could do on a regular basis and make into a tradition---passing your love for it on to the next generation, and the generation after that?
This year we canned 121 pints and 65 quarts of applesauce. The 16 adults and 11 children ate nearly two gallons of sauce, along with chili, potato soup and whole wheat cinnamon chip bread.
Dinner time found my husband making a campfire and roasting hot dogs, followed by s'mores. I had to laugh as one of Jenny's children said, "Will there be smore's?" And she said, "It is Aunt Jill and Uncle Bob's farm, what do you think? Of course there will be s'mores."
I guess that is a tradition all by itself.
Take care, Jill
If you would like to talk to other homeschooling moms about home and health issues, including food preparation and storage, check out the Home and Health Forum on the Sonlighter Club Forums. I cannot believe how much I have learned from this forum.
Sonlight also has some great apple related books which we always love to read: