I have 25 pages of my novella due for my fiction by Monday night at 11:59 pm and I currently have about two and a half pages written. And did I mention the insanely busy weekend in store? So it makes perfect sense that I decided to start a cooking project and make a pot of apple-pear sauce. It actually does make a lot of sense that I started cooking, because that’s one of the ways I handle stress. But it doesn’t get the writing done.
Before my mother jumps in and starts yelling at me for procrastinating, let me say in my defense that making apple-pear sauce doesn’t take up much more than the twenty minutes of the active time you need to peel and chop the fruit. Beyond that, you just let it all simmer away on very low heat for a couple of hours, until the pieces of fruit are willing to yield to a little pressure from the back of a spoon.
I’ve written about my apple sauce making habit before, and after I did, people asked for a recipe. There is no recipe, this is instinctual cooking at its most basic. You just scour your fridge and fruit basket for apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots that are looking a little sad, chop them up and toss them in a pot. Those bags of clearance fruit that contain six apples for $1 work really well for things like this. I do tend to peel the apples and pears, because their skin doesn’t handle long cooking times real well. The softer fruit probably doesn’t need to be peeled.
Once all the fruit is in the pot, I pour in a little water, just enough to give it something to work with and toss in some spices. Today I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. If you don’t have all of those, don’t worry, just use what you’ve got. A little squirt of lemon juice is also nice.
I can’t recommend using pears highly enough. They elevated the sauce I made today into something close to dessert, even though I didn’t put any sugar in at all. It was so good that I ate two bowls in very rapid sucession. That translates to something close to six pieces of fruit. And despite my large dinner, I’m seriously considering going back for more.