The boys are taking turns running out to the yard and filling a basket with windfall apples from our tree and running in to dump them into the giant tub on the kitchen counter next to me. We are making apple sauce. I peel and core and the boys collect fruit, cut up the peeled pieces, stir the bubbling fruit on the stove and root around in the spice cabinet electing seasonings that strike their fancy (no to the dill seed, yes to the applespice).
We have been making a saucepan full at a time....two or three pint jar of hot packed sauce in an episode, every batch a small limited edition. It's super fun and super slow and I have had several moments after the kids were in bed when I stared at the mouldering fruit we didn't get to that day and the wispy cloud of fruit flies and thought...."Maybe I should throw them all out and forget the whole thing."
Maybe I will....all projects have a lifespan....but for now...we are making do, squeasing in couple more jars here and there, adding some pureed apricots this time and cardamom, letting each kid play chef and learn to wield a cutting board and a paring knife. I see a long, cozy winter ahead of us, all of us comforted down by applesauce spiced to the palate of the hour.