Monday, October 11, 2010

Green Beans and Applesauce

It was a bit of a joke with my husband--any Herman family meal was incomplete without green beans and applesauce.  While that is not precisely true, it is also not too far off the mark.  As a child growing up in the 50's and 60's, I think I experienced a rather scant vegetable choice from Birds Eye, and for some crazy reason, which is no longer true, neither my brother nor I were fond of broccoli, brussels sprouts, or asparagus. The green vegetable was, truth be told, often green beans (or the other staple--peas).  The applesauce bit is actually a better story.

My Herman grandparents both descended from farming families; therefore, when they purchased their home in Coreopolis, they bought several acres, enough for huge gardens, both vegetable and flower, and a small orchard of fruit trees (apple, peach, pear, and cherry).  Their apple trees were an old variety, a summer Transparent apple. I think this variety is no longer readily available. Lodi is the closest thing to it.  My applesauce  (and apple pie!) palate was formed by Grandma Herman's applesauce, and they way I make it with a Foley Food Mill is the way she taught me and also the same way my mother made it.  My mother would can two bushels of apples each summer, a day-long family project, and we routinely plucked those quart jars from her basement canning shelf.  Applesauce was served often and at any meal--breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The legacy lives on.  A couple of weeks ago, my daughter in law asked me if I would teach her how to make and can applesauce. This weekend when Rob came up to root Penn State onto what turned out to be a disappointing loss (so sad), Alexis came up for the canning lesson, which is really the passing on of a family tradition. She took to it so naturally...I couldn't be more pleased.


  1. We often go to Northeast, PA (which is in northwest, PA :) to pick apples for sauce and pies. But Nathan made a quick trip to State College yesterday and came home with a lovely bag of apples from Ways Fruit Farm -- just like the one on your kitchen counter.