Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.


Too much?

Ah well. You might change your mind if you try this recipe.

Can you guess what this is? Note that colour. Oh, it's so pink and pretty, isn't it?

You scrolled down to see what it is, didn't you?

That's okay. I would have, too.

I'm telling you about beautiful, delicious Ida Red Apple Sauce. Yes, it needs to be Ida Red. Sure, you can use other apples. It just won't be deli-apple-icious. Ida Reds have a semi-firm flesh, gorgeous red skin, high juice content, and a sweet-tartness that is perfect to create a blushing sauce for your dinner table.

Here's what you need:

Ida Red Applesauce
Ripe Ida Red apples, washed, as many as you want (I used 9 large to medium-large apples to serve 5)
1/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
Pot to cook them in
a food mill

Oh, and by the way -- this is so easy! Very little work involved.

  1. Using a handy-dandy apple slicer-corer, slice your apples directly into the cooking pot. Do NOT skin the apples. (If you don't have an apple slicer-corer, use a knife, slice apples and discard seeds and core.)

  2. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. (You don't need much as these apples are full of juice and the pot will fill with it while they cook.)
  3. Sprinkle apples with about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (reserve the rest to add if needed after the sauce is done.)
  4. Set heat to medium high, put lid on pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn down heat to medium low and let cook about 30 minutes.
  6. Stir, moving topmost apples to bottom of pan. If some apples are still firm, replace lid and allow to cook another 15 minutes.
  7. Once all apples are cooked, place them into a foodmill and grind directly into serving bowl. Be careful, with this step as they're hot.
  8. Grind the sauce in the mill. See my mill? It's about 50 years old. It is a beautiful mill, but it has worked pretty hard over the years for my mother and now for us. I needed to use a wooden spoon to occasionally push the apples through the sieved bottom of the mill. In the end we had all the peels and a small amount of pulp remaining in the mill. It will compost nicely.

Now is the time to taste your sauce. If it's a little too tart, stir in a bit of sugar to taste. Brown, white, or Splenda -- whatever suits your fancy. Add a bit more cinnamon if you need it. Stir and serve!

Take a look at the finished product:

When the kids sat down to dinner tonight they exclaimed "It's PINK! COOL!" And they all wanted seconds. They got them, and there's enough leftover for tomorrow.

And by the way, if you don't have a food mill, you can peel your apples and make the sauce. It just won't be pink and you'll be lacking the added nutrients from the peels. You'll need to mash your apples in the pan (simply stirring with a wooden spoon will work for a slightly chunky sauce.) None of the other steps will change.

This makes a lovely side-dish for Thanksgiving dinner. You can reheat in the microwave before serving.

If you try it, let me know.


The Insanity Has to Stop

NPR has reported that Major Nidal Hasan's mental health was questioned by his nearly two years ago by his supervising Psychiatrists. Daniel Zwerdling reports that Hasan's supervisors referred to him as "schizoid" and questioned whether Hasan was mentally fit for service.

"One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists. Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who, in 2003, killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kuwait."

You might not be familiar with the term "schizoid" but I am. It's not a word that mental health professionals toss around lightly. Schizoid is considered milder than schizophrenia, but harder to treat. It is a personality disorder in which the afflicted person is completely disconnected from his emotions and unable to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. According to this article "the person with schizoid personality disorder may be able to hold a job and meet the expectations of an employer if the responsibilities do not require more than minimal interpersonal involvement." I think the job description for military psychiatrist in wartime might involve more than minimal interpersonal involvement.

However, Zwerdling reports, circumstances were such that the officials who raised the concerns (and continued monthly discussions about those concerns) did not find it feasible to issue any giant red flags about Hasan. They did not because:

  1. there would be too much paperwork and bureaucracy
  2. they would appear politically incorrect and unsympathetic to Hasan's extremist Islamic views
  3. they didn't know that Homeland Security was tracking his emails with other extremists, and the icing on the cake:
  4. Hasan was leaving for Fort Hood, anyway, and could be their problem.
Which begs the question: did officials at Walter Reed who were concerned about Hasan's fitness to serve alert officials at Fort Hood to his apparent mental instability? Did they? I want to know.

I don't know about you, but the four reasons above are NOT GOOD ENOUGH for failing to flag a person who would be in a position of power, authority, and care taking with our soldiers at home and abroad.

Why would it be okay for a person with extremist views, views that specifically condemn American ideals and the war on terror, to serve in any capacity with our armed forces?

I'm certainly not saying that Muslims cannot serve in the military. To the contrary. I think Muslims can absolutely serve in the American military. I think Muslims can be a great asset to the American military. This man espoused radical Islamic views which are actually contradictory to the Muslim faith.

This is not okay, people. This man was unstable enough to become the focus of monthly conversations between the officials, including the Psychiatrists who supervised him, at one of the hospitals where he trained.

But. They. Did.


They did not insist he have a full psychiatric evaluation.

They did not place him on probation.

They did not require he have any intervention whatsoever.

They did, however, pass the buck:

"Hasan was about to leave Walter Reed and USUHS for good and transfer to Fort Hood, in Texas. Fort Hood has more psychiatrists and other mental specialists than some other Army bases, so officials figured there would be plenty of co-workers who would support Hasan — and monitor him." (Zwerdling)

I am outraged that the Psychiatrists who supervised Hasan didn't have the balls necessary to red flag his nutty ass.

What's it take?

Seriously, what does it take?


About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

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