Possibly the most nostalgic smell from my childhood would have to be homemade applesauce.
Every fall, my mother made homemade applesauce. The apples usually came from apple trees in our yard or from my grandparents yard. A large bowl of multicolored red, pink and golden apples flecked with pocks and sometimes worm holes was common place in my mother's kitchen. Then the sound of the 1970's red-handled apple peeler and corer would grind, spraying sweet and sticky apple juice on the counter and floor. Chopping and stirring and then the heavenly smell of sauteed apples with cinnamon and brown sugar would coat the air. It would stretch and swell throughout the kitchen, creep into the hallways, living areas and even spread itself out onto the couch and weave its way into the fabric of our clothes. And before my dad would reach the front door of the house, the scent was already welcoming him home.
As the end of fall draws near, what better way to remember it then with long lasting flavors. My ultra simple homemade applesauce.
5 apples from a local tree if possible
1 c. water (more if necessary)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
Peel and core apples. Thinly slice and rough chop them. Add them to a medium-to large pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Add water and stir. Once the water starts to simmer, reduce heat to med-low and stir. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir. Cook over medium low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Depending on how you like the consistency of your applesauce, cook another hour for softer sauce.
Serving suggestions: Eat warm or cold either by itself or on vanilla ice cream or served on the side of stuffed pork chops.