My friend Deanna had directions for homemade applesauce on her blog. Since Deanna is *ahem* slightly more organized than I am, I figured it was one of those things that was out of my league.
One day, I found myself in possession of fifteen pounds of apples and decided to give it a whirl, only to discover that it is astoundingly easy.
You peel and core apples, chop them up, put them in a pan with about 1 oz water per medium apple and boil them for a few minutes. Then you throw them in the food processor and press the button. The hardest part is that no one wants to wait for it to cool off before eating it.
I also, about that time, discovered how easy it is to make jam in small quantities and realized that there must be a lot of things out there that are simple that clever marketing departments have made me think I must pay someone else to do.
Applesauce doesn't come out much cheaper when homemade, and I can't really tell a difference in taste, but it does solve a problem in our house: what to do with half-eaten apples. Now, instead of fussing at the kids and following them around with apples, tossing them or finding them in random spots around the house weeks later and in a less-than-pleasant state, i have a spot in the fridge where unfinished apples gather until I can get to them.
As I started making applesauce and jam, however, I was frustrated with all the parts of organic material I still was not using, especially since it coincided with time that I was going out to buy a lot of fertilizer and dirt for our garden. I was trying to figure out what fertilizer to use that wasn't going to kill us all but that would give our dirt an edge up.
I decided to enter the world of composting. Dowlan attempted to build a composter, but the time constraints he experienced were making me twitchy, so I bought one at Sam's Club for $39.00. In about six weeks, it is already half full. Multiplying that out in my head, I imagined the bulk all the completely useful food scraps I'd thrown in the landfill in the last few years and cringed a bit. Then I thought about all the mulch, dirt and fertilizer purchased and $39 started sounding like a serious bargain.
Our bottom layer of compost is just about ready to be used and, if it ever quits raining, I have the perfect occasion for use--my herb garden is still not planted.
And, by the way, the teeth are shiny and the hair is getting more manageable. I did follow a blog commenter and skip the baking soda on the toothbrush and find it much more pleasant. I'm now looking into making laundry soap and replacing lotion, but I haven't run out of those things yet. As soon as I do, I'll tell you the next step in Finding My Inner Prairie Woman.