Easy Crockpot Applesauce

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had three specific cravings, one during each of my trimesters.

During the first was Arby’s. Since there are no Arby’s in the town we live in Eric would drive out of his way after work to get me Arby’s and bring it home. Luckily I don’t like my food hot!

During the last was brownie batter. I would get a mug and fill it halfway with powdered brownie batter, add water and mix it up. If I had nuts I would add those too. Mmm mmm!

But, during my second trimester was my strongest craving- oh the applesauce! I went through jars of it. Healthy enough, right? Well not mine… the store bought stuff was never the right flavor for me and definitely not sweet enough. I would add so much sugar that when I ate it I could feel the grit of the sugar. I also liked to add cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg.

Cut me some slack on the sugar. 🙂 I didn’t so much as take a Tylenol or Tums when pregnant, even with a head or belly ache.

I didn’t have this recipe at the time, which is unfortunate. It is delicious, easy, and can easily be customized to your taste. Best of all you know exactly what is going into it.

Jamie’s Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Ingredients:

About 10 Medium Apples (I used Honeycrisps)
Sugar (To taste. I used  1/3 Cup)
Brown Sugar (To taste. I used 1/3 Cup)
Cinnamon (To taste. I used 1 Teaspoon)
1/2 Lemon’s Juice (I didn’t have a fresh lemon, so I just sprinkled some on that I had in the fridge)
1/2 Cup Water
 

I used my peeler/slicer/corer which did it all in one step, but if you don’t have one- peel and core your apples and cut them into chunks or slices.

I had a “helper”…

Seeing her eating that apple reminds me of a funny story that I’ll add to the end…

 

 Add sugars, cinnamon, lemon, and water. You could add a dash of nutmeg if you’d like. Mmmmm!

Turn your crockpot on low and leave it for 8-10 hours.

Did I mention that this makes your house smell divine?

 

My “helper” and I made this on a cold rainy day. Between the smell of it in the crockpot and a toasty fire we were in cozy heaven. While I was cleaning up my “helper” disappeared to more pressing matters… getting comfortable apparently:

 

After the 10 hours I took a masher inside the crockpot and viola!

Now, if you like smooth applesauce I recommend putting it in a blender or magic bullet, but if you like chunky then it is ready. Yum yum

Oh, if only I had this applesauce when I was pregnant!

 

Charlotte has enjoyed apples for a while now. Probably since she could say “apple” because she enjoys things that she can ask for, or point to and knows the name of.

When she was just starting out eating apples I would peel, core, and slice them for her. Well we all know what happens to apple slices when you cut them- they get all brown (although you can put a dash of lemon juice to combat this).

One day as I was packing Charlotte’s lunch for the next day at the babysitter’s house I figured Charlotte would enjoy an apple with it, so I packed her one. The next day when her bag came home and I unpacked it I was surprised to see the apple still in there.

Man, I wish I had a picture of that poor apple.

When I pulled it out of the bag it looked as though it had been ravaged by a bunch of little mice. It had bite marks all over it, but no real pieces missing.

The babysitter must have thought I was a nincompoop to send a baby with a whole apple. She probably wondered why I would send Charlotte with something the obviously couldn’t even eat. Really I just didn’t want slices to get brown, and I thought the babysitter would cut it up the same way that I did. :c)

Now, when I send Charlotte’s lunch with apples they are already peeled, cored, sliced, and in a ziplock baggie!

Judgement

I recently read an article about a toddler who was found outside by a neighbor. The mom had apparently taken a nap and her toddler had let themself out of the house.

I remember instantly thinking “How could she?” of the mother. She must be negligent. How do you not have your house secure for your toddler? How do you take a nap and leave your child unsupervised? Etcetera.

Apparently God decided that this week was time for my lesson about judging others.

On Friday I was spending a wonderful day with Charlotte at home. It was my favorite kind of stay-at-home rainy day.

I was picking up the living room when without warning Charlotte ran over to the front door, opened it, and ran out into the rain! I dashed out onto the porch after her in time to see her on the walkway turn on her heel (in her socks) to run back inside. She wasn’t happy about the rain falling on her.

I took her in, dried her off, changed her socks and made a mental note that we must start locking the front door (which I did).

A couple of hours later I took something into the garage, when I went to go back in I realized the garage door was shut. I went out the garage to the front door and realized it was locked so that Houdini couldn’t escape.

Crap.

Standing in my bare feet, freezing, on my porch I assessed my situation. I could already hear Charlotte inside looking and calling for me. Front door- locked, Garage door- locked.

As I started to panic I realized that our french doors in the back would be unlocked. Thank goodness… usually we lock those too so that the dogs don’t let themselves into the house.

Great. A way in. Only problem is that our backyard is fenced half in chain link, half in wrought iron. Since we are in the process of finishing the wrought iron there is no gate yet.

Perhaps I can heave myself over the wrought iron? I walk over (in the rain, don’t forget) and do a test “jump”. Nope, we bought the extra tall so that the dogs can’t jump over it so there is no way I can throw this something-lb body up that high.

Most people would have a ladder or something in the garage to use. My good luck is that there wasn’t. Either Eric had it at work with him, or it was in the house for him to change the lightbulb in the office.

So, the conclusion is that I climb the chain link portion of the fence. In my bare feet, in the rain.

OF COURSE I slip. My pants snag on a top piece of the fence and rip. I get stabbed where it rips through. Let me tell you that it was in a very not nice place to get stabbed. As I am climbing/falling/ripping my pants over the fence I half look over my shoulder and hope that my neighbors don’t see me. (If they had, what would they think of me?)

I make it back into the house only a little worse for the wear with sore feet and unmentionables, cold and wet. Hug the baby since apparently it seems to her as though those couple of minutes were forever that I was gone.

Late that day I was snuggling my little one on the couch and we were watching Toy Story (3) for at least the hundredth time. I doze off (Yes, the door was locked!) I feel her get up from the couch and I open an eye… she is playing with her toys on the floor and watching the movie. I close my eye again.

What if she had learned how to unlock the door? Would I have heard her? Could I have been just like the mom on the news? If so, how would I feel if people judged me for something that was completely innocent?

A few days later Eric and I are BOTH home. Someone forgets to lock the door and she escapes again. It is only a second and she only makes it to the walkway, but still.

Just last night Charlotte climbed out of her crib for the first time. Now I get to worry about her falling out, climbing out in the night and doing who-knows-what, falling down the stairs in the dark… the list goes on and on.

Now I think Maybe that mom’s child was safe in a crib and she laid down to rest and her child climbed out of the crib and opened the door. It only takes the first time of a child doing something.

So, I am setting a personal goal for myself to be less judgemental of others. I have plenty of personal flaws to be correcting before I have an opinion about others, and even then I won’t be perfect.

And, I’m buying a crib tent and a child proof front door lock tomorrow so I don’t end up in the news too!

 

Halloween 10/31/2011

Halloween this year was so much better than I imagined. Sometimes I am not sure of how old Charlotte should be before she might enjoy something, but it turns out 18 months is plenty old enough for Trick-or-Treating.

Last year Charlotte was 6 months old for her first Halloween. I was determined to show off her cuteness:

 

I got made fun of from my family for carrying her up to each door, even though it was only maybe 10 houses. I got to eat the candy, so I didn’t mind their ribbing.

Anyway, this year my little Tinkerbell could walk run up to each house. She held her daddy’s hand (or mine, we alternated) and went to each door.

Her favorites were the houses that let her select her own piece of candy. Nearly every time she had a choice she would choose a sucker. The first sucker she got she immediately tore off the wrapper and held on to for most of the night.

Once she had an open piece of candy to hold for safekeeping (seriously, she didn’t even eat it) she was happy to select a piece from each house and put it into her candy bag (which she refused to carry).

Apparently one house thought it would be funny to scare a toddler and jumped out at her and shouted “Rawr!” Unfortunately for them their desire to see a child run crying in terror was lost on MY daughter who is

a) obsessed with Shrek and therefore marginally OK with monsters and “Rawr!”  and

b) obsessed with doggies, which they happened to have by the door and she noticed and brushed off her scary encounter.

The entire night the thing she was most afraid of was her Uncle Nick’s costume, which was basically just a scary mask:

 

All night she kept asking “Nene???” to make sure it was really still her Nicky in there.

Happy Halloween my little Tinkerbell. Thanks for all the candy. I’m sure next year I’ll have to share it with you.