I? Am not the best cook. If you perused my kitchen counter and all the boxes of books I have in the basement, you would think I was freaking Julia Child. I have a slight obsession with cookbooks and recipes... and the Food Network. Addict!
It's been about 5 years since I was actively Trying to cook from those cookbooks instead of recycling the same recipes I do now with the exception of a new one once in a while. I'm a much better baker - yeah, that's it. Just cupcakes though. Ask my husband, even Wilton classes couldn't help me and we both remember the year I locked myself in the bathroom and cried when I could not get his birthday cake decorated right. (In my defense, I was pregnant with the twins at the time.)
The boys had been wanting to go apple picking so yesterday we picked a farm and off we went. 12 pounds of apples were picked in what I would guesstimate was under 8 minutes by three crazy boys who would.not.stop. Lets put it this way, we waited in line to pay longer then it took the boys to run the orchard and pick (rip down) the apples.
So, back to the 12 pounds of apples. I decided I'd make an apple pie, a crisp and even applesauce. The boys love applesauce. I would start with that. Found a recipe online from Alton Brown for 10 minute applesauce. Seemed SO easy, surely I could not mess it up. The first thing I learned is that I should buy one of those special tools to peel apples. Took Forever with the veggie peeler I used. The twins were so excited they had pulled up chairs in the kitchen to watch me (for 2 minutes before they got bored).
I cored, sliced and mixed the other ingredients with the apples & into the microwave it went. 10 minutes later? It smelled good, it looked good... but they were still a little hard. Since I had to pick up the big guy from school I let it sit in the microwave for a half hour until I got back hoping they would soften more. It seemed like it did. I put the apples in a large bowl and got out the mixer (like the directions said) and not only did the apples not really mush together, I was shot with hot apple juices, as was half my kitchen.
Then? I gave up. It tasted good, but it was cooked apple slices - not applesauce - and that was that. Served the boys lunch and added some 'applesauce' they were so excited to try. One by one they brought the bowls back with a different excuse about not liking it and dumped it into the sink. My 4 year old said to me, "Mommy, I only like the kind that comes from the packages you buy" (that would be Shaw's supermarket or Mott's) "or just a plain apple. Not...THIS".
Can't make applesauce I guess, but at least I know I can make a mean cupcake. Maybe the solution here is to buy another cookbook. Yeah, that sounds good! Tomorrow, I will try making the pie.