Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Making food for the winter

I've been thinking a lot about the differences between food culture in Britain and food culture in Canada lately. For all that people make fun of "British food", there are some really positive things about it, especially with the recent emphasis on eating locally. A similar movement exists in Canada, but it doesn't have the same place in the mainstream as it does in Britain. Canadians don't have a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall extolling the virtues of growing your own vegetables, or a Gordon Ramsay raising animals in his own backyard. Is eating locally a trend? Perhaps, but it's a worthwhile one, in my opinion.

Of course, eating locally in Canada--especially in Quebec--can be extremely difficult. While the variety of vegetables available during the winter is rather limited in Britain (leek and potato soup, anyone?), it is at least possible to grow veg during the winter. Not so in Quebec when the earth is frozen and is covered in feet of snow. And yet, people have survived here for a long time and managed to make due during the winters. I want to learn more about this and try to see if and how it is possible to make it through an Eastern Canadian winter without relying on imported food. I imagine that this involves a lot of preserved food and meat.

In any case, I was at the local market with Anna today and I snubbed her decision to buy pears because they were imported from the US. She then told me that I wanted to eat locally, but she didn't see me making preserves. That's not such a bad challenge, and so I bought a half-bushel of Quebec Spartan apples.

Apple sauce is one of the easiest ways to preserve large quantities of apples, and if you store it correctly, it will keep for a long time.

The recipe:


Peel, core, and cut the apples into chunks. Put them into a large pot, add a bit of water and allow the apples to stew until they break down and make a nice, thick sauce. It will look somewhat like this:

When the sauce is about finished, add sugar and cinnamon to taste.

If you're going to preserve the apple sauce, sterilise mason jars by boiling them right side up in a large pot for ten minutes. Scoop the sauce into the sterilised jars ad seal them tightly. I don't know how long the apple sauce will keep like this, but it should be for at least a few months.


Julie said...

Don't you just love apple season.

Anonymous said...

That looks great! Thanks for sharing.

Sharona May


Hi Graeme,

I came across your blog because I was doing research for my job! Funny!

I might make some of this apple sauce, looks good.

Really glad to hear from Lucy you got back to Montreal ok. Hope you are well!

Emma xx

Anonymous said...

It is tough to eat totally local in the states, but the more I can get from farmers/ranchers in my area the more I enjoy the lifestyle. It is very satisfying!

teeth whitener

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jj said...

Gosh, I never thought of putting up applesauce in jars - major "Duh" moment when I read your mention of doing this. I love my own applesauce but sometimes am just not in the mood to make it; having it on hand, jarred, will be awesome! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Shirley said...

haha same here jj. but it's very mouth watering too, because i love apples!!

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