I was just looking back through all of my blog posts from the summer. Wow I posted a lot! Summer was a gentler time. The sun was out, I took weekends off, the garden was in full bloom. Speaking of the garden, I grew a couple of cauliflowers this year! Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that you only imagine purchasing at a grocery store. You don’t think you can put a cauliflower seed in the garden and some day actually expect to see this:
But while the summer was gentle, the fall has been tough this year. My grandmother passed away on Halloween, and I’m still missing her every day. I stayed with my Granny and Pappaw every day after school and every day in the summer until I was a teenager, so they were like second parents to me. It’s hard to imagine a world without Granny in it. (My grandmother was such an awesome lady- here she is with me, my niece, and my cousin letting us put Christmas temporary tattoos on her, a tradition that developed over the last few years.)
On top of that, I’m on the academic job market this year. Let’s just say, it’s a process that robs you of joy. But, I’ve finally submitted the majority of my applications, and now there is a bit of a calm before the storm while I wait to hear if I have secured an interview with of any of the schools that I have applied to. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!
So, what have I been doing to stay sane amidst all of this chaos? Baking. Mostly cookies. But the day I came home from West Virginia after my grandmother’s funeral, I needed to make something comforting…something that would make the whole house feel warm. Applesauce. I arrived back to Michigan and found a package from my sweet cousin, Cori, who also loves to bake. She sent me an apple pealer, corer, and slicer (!!!!) and I put it to work on a couple of bags of delicious Michigan apples.
I even used a recipe that Cori sent to me last year for a delicious brown sugar, vanilla bean applesauce that really makes your house smell wonderful for days. Here is the before and after.
I froze a few jars just so I could try to make it last throughout the winter, but I have to admit, I’ve already gone through two of them.
Thanks so much, Cori! On a night when I was feeling melancholy and listless, this was a great way to put my mind to work. Here’s to hoping the winter will be mild.