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Bandelier National Monument – New Mexico 3 of 5 – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Travel, U.S. by Tom0 Comments

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Day 3 in New Mexico – Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument was about an hour drive away from Santa Fe, and was highly ranked on the list of places to visit in New Mexico. It was an ancient site dating back over 11,000 years, where the Ancestral Pueblo people carved dwellings into the rocky canyon and lived there for about 400 years.
Just ten miles short of Bandelier, signs abound at the town of White Rock to inform visitors that the monument could only be accessed via shuttle bus. We had clearly missed that information while planning our visit. A little confused, we walked into a brand new museum-like visitor center, where the staff informed us of the shuttle schedule and fees to enter the monument. We quickly parked our car and caught the monument-bound bus just before it left. The bus took us through winding mountain roads before ending at another visitor center, which sat at the entrance to the monument. A staff greeted us and gave a quick overview of what we could see and do once inside.

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We bought our entry tickets, ventured through the visitor center, and right before exiting into the monument area, we came upon a group of Native Americans performing in their traditional costume. Another group of Native Americans was silently sitting on the floor against the wall, displaying handmade jewelry for sale. Bandelier was certainly tourist-centric.

As we stepped onto the trail, it quickly became apparent that no strenuous hiking was expected. There were families with young children and visitors in flip-flops. The monument appeared to be designed as an outdoor getaway for families.

Let’s Hike – Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico

 

As we walked along the Frijoles Canyon, there were remnants of civilization scattered on the flat canyon ground, where small plaques provided explanations of what they used to be. Some of the remnants used to be a ceremonial pit, or what was left of ancient homes. The trail then led us onto a ledge in the canyon wall, where stairs and guardrails had been conveniently installed for the modern day visitor. Fist-sized pockmarks lined the canyon walls, along with larger hollows around them. The pockmarks were supposedly used to hold long wooden stakes, which ancient inhabitants utilized to climb into their cave dwellings. Expecting every modern visitor to perform unassisted pull-ups was unreasonable, so the monument’s management had propped ladders against the caves to make them accessible. At each ladder, there were visitors waiting their turn to climb into the caves for pictures. Like a good tourist destination, tempers flared when the wait got too long.

At the farthest end of the trail was an option to climb up a series of ladders that would bring visitors up 140’ to an alcove. The ladder could only hold one person at a time, and there were some stop points between each ladder, which required walking on narrow ledges and stairs, and taking turns if someone else was on the ladders. It could be daunting for people with a fear of heights, and the fear did not quite dissipate even after stepping into the alcove. There were no guardrails in the alcove, and the bottom was sloping downwards into the canyon. Even though there was plenty of room to stay away from the edge, it still gave us some fear of slipping off. Nonetheless, the alcove provided a sweeping view of the canyon, where we enjoyed the peaceful sound of a breeze raking through the leaves and watched the trees sway gently.

With that, we headed back to the visitor center for the next shuttle bus. The tourist vibes of the monument persisted in the full bus, where an elderly man croaked at us for blocking his view out the window. That about summed up our impression of Bandelier. As much as we had enjoyed exploring the caves, the heavy tourist traffic and focus marred the experience somewhat.

Climbing the Ladders to the Top Cave




Travel Journal 

Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye

Images

Tom Schmidt :  schmidtphoto.com @tomschmidtphoto




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Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico 2 of 5 – Travel with Tom and Priscilla Schmidt

In Travel, U.S. by Tom0 Comments

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Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico Hiking with Tom and Priscilla

Tent Rocks was a national monument with unique conical rock formations. We saw pictures online that piqued our curiosity, and right away, we knew we had to hike the trails no matter how tough it was going to be. Tent Rocks was also conveniently located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, making it a good detour as we headed towards Santa Fe.

Hiking Trail at Tent Rocks National Monument

new mexico

At the entrance to Tent Rocks. The trail winding through the brush on the way up.


The trail started off on flat and dry sandy ground, but it soon turned into massive rock walls on both sides, technically described as a slot canyon. Parched-looking trees with gnarled roots attempted to trip us as we navigated the canyon.
We squeezed through tight sections of the slot canyon and scrambled over large rocks in our path. The views in front of us seem to magically morph with each step forward, culminating at the summit with vistas that were literally heart stopping. At the summit, we could see the tops of the strange conical rocks, juxtaposed with desert land as far as the eye could see. The view that had inspired us to visit was right in front of us, but more vivid, and with much more depth, breadth, color and even a palpable sense of danger that we would step slightly off the path and slide down into the canyon below. The scenery was absolutely phenomenal. And, the hike was surprisingly manageable to boot. The elderly who completed the hike could attest to that.

Slot Canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument

In the slot canyon a human can barely fit in between the carved rocks.

View up the expanse of carved rocks in the Slot Canyon of Tent Rocks NM.

A little size comparison…  It may be slighty distored from my wide angle lens, but it’s an imposing atmosphere.


With the sun setting, we hiked back down to the slot canyon and back to the open desert. Along the short loop path at the base of the canyon, there were a number of smaller conical rocks that jutted out here and there, and even an ancient man made cave that had probably sheltered a few people in its heyday.
Tent Rocks was a lot more majestic and surreal than the pictures that brought us there. It was certainly well worth the detour to visit.

At the Top of Tent Rocks National Monument




Travel Journal 

Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye

Images

Tom Schmidt :  schmidtphoto.com @tomschmidtphoto




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Albuquerque, New Mexico (ABQ) – New Mexico Trip 1 of 5 – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Travel, U.S. by Tom0 Comments

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Travel to New Mexico with Tom and Priscilla

New Mexico was a spur of the moment trip. A friend who had visited a year ago came back with gleaming eyes and charming description of her time there. The excitement was so contagious that a year later, we found ourselves on a plane heading for Albuquerque. The green and luscious landscape of the upper Midwest summer gave way to the southwestern landscape of brown sand, rocks and cactus. Adobe homes hinted at an unfamiliar culture that existed in New Mexico, and most buildings were of a brown hue that blended into the desert. The sharp color contrast from Chicago’s scenery was a hard reset for our minds.




Day 1 – Arrive to Albuquerque (ABQ) New Mexico – Time to Eat!

Our first stop was lunch at Tia Betty Blue’s, a small café that served simple New Mexican fare. The café appeared to be housed in a single-family home repurposed with a commercial kitchen and small dining area. Stepping inside the little space, we were greeted with a large board displaying the menu and were immediately stumped by the food options. Blue corn waffles? Green Chiles? Christmas sauce? These were all really unfamiliar to us. The friendly lady taking our order explained the options, and introduced us to “Christmas” which was New Mexican speak for a combination of Green and Red Chiles. Slightly wiser about New Mexican cuisine, we bravely ordered away, asking for Christmas on every dish. The food turned out to be refreshingly delicious, and we amazed ourselves by devouring the burrito bowl, blue corn waffles with soft poached eggs and omelet all in half hour. You could never have too much good food…

Albuquerque New Mexico – True SW Cusine at Tia Betty Blue’s




ABQ – Petroglyph National Monument

With our bellies full of corn and Chiles, we headed to the Petroglyph National Monument. To our surprise, we found that the areas dedicated to the monument were scattered right behind people’s homes, and the monument was a completely casual affair with few signs for where to go and what to look for. We walked around any path we could find, scrambled up rocks, dodging lizards, feeling like explorers on an archaeological mission. We did spot a good number of petroglyphs, which were ancient carvings of mostly human and animals on the rocks. And then we found ourselves scorched by the sun and were forced to seek shelter. Clearly, we were not used to the sunlight that New Mexico seemed to have an abundance of.

Exploring the Petroglyphs in New Mexico




Sandia Peak – Take a Flight On the Longest Tram in the U.S.

The next stop was Sandia Mountain, located just east of Albuquerque. We had initially planned to hike up the mountain, but the sun and our filling lunch wore those ambitions away, so we took the tram instead. The tram was reputedly the longest in the US, and the ride turned out to be a quite a fun experience in itself with some great views. As we zipped up the mountain, the tram operator described the geological landmarks, calling out the canyons and waterfalls that we would have otherwise missed trekking on the ground. The tram ride also made clear how tough the hike would have been by giving us occasional glimpses of a steep and narrow path zigzagging upwards. One thing we knew for sure, the tram ride guaranteed that we would make it to the peak.

The peak of Sandia sat at an altitude of 10,378’ with noticeably cooler air and exhilarating views. If you stood at the right spot, you could see Santa Fe in the far distant and Albuquerque on the other side. The views were unobstructed and expansive with mountains even taller than Sandia abound in the surroundings. Hiking along the crest, we headed towards Kiwanis Cabin, which was built as a refuge for long distance hikers. Although, according to the tram operator, the stone cabin had to be rebuilt a number of times because it was so prone to lightning strikes. Safety issues aside, the vista upon arriving at the stone cabin was equally, if not more, breathtaking. Beautiful deep blue sky coupled with seemingly endless desert and mountains. We stood still, breathing in the clean crisp air and soaking in the panorama until a gust of chilly wind hit us and storm clouds appeared. The benefit of being on high ground was the ability to see far ahead, which gave us plenty of time to head back towards the tram before the drenching rain came. The hike on Sandia was surprisingly easy for the altitude, and came with plenty of scenic views. We are avid hikers but not athletes, so in our humble opinion, hikes that were relatively easy on the body and rewarding for the mind offered the best value.

Sandia Mountain, 10,378’ – Just outside of Albuquerque New Mexico




Day 2 – Exploring the “Old Town” area in Albuquerque New Mexico

We spent the next morning leisurely strolling in the Old Town neighborhood of Albuquerque. Old Town was centered around a plaza, with San Felipe De Neri Church on one side, and a ring of charming adobe shops on the other sides. We were told that locals avoided this area due to some tourist-trap characteristics, but as outsiders, the historical San Felipe De Neri Church was still worthy of visiting. The Church was quiet that day, with a few tourists in the front yard snapping photos, and a few venturing inside.

A lively melody drifted over from the plaza, and we followed the music to find an ensemble of men and women playing harps and various guitars, and singing in Spanish. A small group of people had gathered around the band, clapping to the lovely cheerful music. Check out the video!

We wandered around the shops and found some charming alleyways with delightful little shops on both sides. The shops included some small galleries with intriguing and affordable local art, niche boutique stores selling local honey, handmade soaps and other curiously curated collections of wares.



Albuquerque New Mexico – Around Town with Tom and Priscilla




Travel Journal 

Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye

Images

Tom Schmidt :  schmidtphoto.com @tomschmidtphoto




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A Night at the Dune Eco Village Resort near Pondicherry – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Asia, Travel, Video by Tom0 Comments

Priscilla had found the Eco Village Resort as a pretty well rated place to stay, but at $40 bucks a night, I was let’s just say a bit skeptical… Wow was I wrong! This is true paradise that feels as if you have been dropped onto another planet of beauty and lifestyle.

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To find the Eco Village, you turn off the paved highway to a pothole ridden dirt road passing by a few less attractive residences… Then you pass through a large gate to circle drive and gravel parking lot to check in. At this point you still don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into… “Alright let’s try it out” and we parted with our driver for the night and jumped aboard the mini-van fully equipped with a tiger painting.

Bumpty bump on into the resort along a small one lane dirt path lined with palm trees and mini cottages with thatch roofs. We were really into the village now! As we approached our lodge, the “Flex House” as it is named, was magnificent little rustic cottage with an other worldly feel. Pop open the padlock and enter to a spacious room with a boxed-in bed, high ceiling that exposed the natural roof, and totally cool translucent walls with flower photos printed on them. Wow.

 
We only had one night here, so we were off right away to explore the property. Exotic trees and plants fill every view as we walked through the property at sunset. It was amazing, each “house” on the property was unique and had an authentically different experience. Some had outdoor showers, one was built high above the rest to give the ultimate view of the Indian ocean, and all had a feeling of true India. As we explored the area, we found the farm on site with a number of cows and fresh vegetables. The village was developed to be generally self-sustaining, minus the beers and a few other modern conveniences.
 
One of my most vivid memories from this stay were the sounds. Our lodging was located just off the beach from the Indian Ocean and the sound of the waves breaking set the baseline for the atmosphere. Then early in the morning, the temple just outside of the village began with chants that remind you that you are definitely not in Illinois any more. Check out this video for a snippet of sound from the early morning hours.
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Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Asia, Travel by Tom0 Comments

Driving in India is always an adventure and the first few minutes in the car will surely confirm that you are not in Illinois anymore. Our friends Anusha and Barath had arranged for a driver for us and for good reason, because the Indian style of driving is absolutely best left to the professionals. Once out the city and on the Indian “highway” you will notice that no one drives on their side of the road because there is always a need to pass something or other. Maybe because the roads are shared modes of transit including cars, trucks, busses, cows, dogs and humans. My brother the safety guy would have blown a gasket with the regular “close calls” of near death on the road.

Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India 33 Tom Schmidt Photo

Tom Schmidt Photo Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India 08

But we made it alive to the first stop on our South Indian tour: Mahabalipuram, The Underwater City. As we got the area there were a number of people that approached the car wanting to give us a personal tour of the area. We felt that it may be a scam, but found one man that agreed to a somewhat reasonable rate so we agreed, parked the car and went for a walk around the area to learn about the Underwater city of Mahabalipuram. The story goes something like this: A King built the great monuments, then the sand covered it long ago, and then a number of years ago it was dug up and is still there today. The sculptures and and structures are quite cool and VERY OLD.

Tom Schmidt Photo Mahabalipuram Underwater City, India 26

Travel with Tom and Priscilla to Mahabalipuram, India

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Chennai, India Street Photos and Videos- Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Asia, Travel by Tom0 Comments

We went to the faraway place called India… It is a completely different world for this Midwestern boy. We visited in 2015 to attend a friend’s wedding in Chennai and then had a few days for exploring. The weather proved to be quite challenging during our visit with torrential downpours and flooding. When Chennai floods, it really floods! Then the clouds parted for some amazing blue sky as we began our voyage south. Check out a few images and videos from our first day around Chennai!

Tom and Priscilla Visit Chennai, India

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First Snow in Buffalo Grove – Pictures with Tom

In Travel, U.S. by Tom0 Comments

In Chicago it snows.

Winter has always been the most dreaded season for us. The harsh cold wind that pierces through even the thickest and toughest of winter coats, the sharp air that sucks the moisture out of everything and anything, and just the sheer coldness that drives us to hide in our insulated dwellings, safely away from the chilling claws of winter.

Yet, there is magic in the first snow. The dancing snowflakes blanket the land, transforming everything they touch, giving beauty to even the most mundane of landscapes such as the suburb we live in.
What better time to take a stroll and enjoy the silent and mesmerizing snowy day?

Enjoy the first Snow in Chicago with Tom and Priscilla.

Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

Tom Schmidt Photo in Buffalo Grove Chicago

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Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

In Travel, U.S. by Tom0 Comments

With the first real summer holiday coming up fast, we wanted to find a spot to camp outdoors at a drive-able distance from Chicago… So we were off to Tahquamenon located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
And you ask why the UP of Michigan of all places to visit? Well we haven’t been there yet and Tahquamenon is the largest waterfall East of the Mississippi!

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog


Tahquamenon Falls – July 4th weekend 2016


We stuffed our little red Toyota Corolla FULL with a tent, ground pads, sleeping bags and food, and began our road trip to the UP.

The drive from Chicago is about 8 hours, and the route hugs Lake Michigan all the way. We passed through the great Midwestern cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay before entering the UP where the terrain changes to gentle hills and endless forests.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

On the drive up I was recalling my college days at the University of Michigan and the people I had met from throughout the state. When you ask these locals about some Michigan geography or their hometown, Michigan folks instinctively pull up their left hand, point to a location on the back of their hand, and that is where they are from. The Michigan state looks roughly looks like a mitten and this hand trick is as common as the Michigan apples. Somehow, The Upper Peninsula has always been left out of this neat little trick as though it is some unknown place. Truthfully, having lived in Michigan for four years while in college, I don’t actually know much about the UP except that there are trees everywhere.


Itinerary:

Day 1

  • Drive to campsite from Chicago Burbs

Day 2

  • Hike Tahquamenon Trail – starting from Lower Falls, ending at Upper Falls
  • Upper Falls retail area

Day 3

  • Drive home to Chicago Burbs

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

As we arrived at the Tahquamenon Lower Falls campsite, smoke was wafting from campfires and the air was filled with the sweet smells of grilled meats. Evergreen trees dotted the campground to provide just a little privacy for each campsite.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

On the first evening in the UP, we found a well-maintained path hidden at the edge of the campground that took us through a forest right to a great view of the Tahquamenon Lower Falls. The Lower Falls is the smaller of the Tahquamenon falls in terms of volume and height. It consists of a series of modest waterfalls that open up to a shallow lake surrounded by pine trees with an island in the center. You can jump in a canoe, or you can join the locals and swim and wade your way to the island. Nearby, a well-stocked souvenir store serves as a pleasant distraction for snacks (we got the soft-serve ice cream!) and uniquely UP merchandise.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

Bright and early the next day, we fixed a classic campground breakfast of gooey eggs and potatoes and prepared to hike the Tahquamenon trail. Starting from the Lower Falls, we joined a surprisingly large crowd of parents with kids in tow and couples in flip flops to hike towards the Upper Falls. The trail was well maintained, but I would probably not set out in flip flops… The trail was certainly busy, and especially so on a holiday weekend, but pleasant nonetheless.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

The Tahquamenon trail was pretty in an unassuming way. We were constantly accompanied by the seemingly unmoving Tahquamenon River, which was stained a dark yellow from tannins that seep in from the surrounding trees. Look closely and you could see turtles catching some sun, or discover a scenic corner to take photos. Rustic, and maybe handmade, bridges peppered the trail.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog
After three hours of hiking, a wide paved path appeared and sounds of people chatting could be heard through the trees. Sure enough, once the forest clears, groups of people dressed in their best Fourth of July garb appeared. Somehow they appeared that they had not been hiking for the last few hours like us… Then the signs appeared for our hiking destination, the Upper Falls, and then souvenir stores, restaurants, and a parking lot! The Upper Falls with all of its beauty is quite built-out as a tourist destination.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

Following the mass of tourists, we came upon a deck with the Upper Falls in full view. The water cascaded loudly over the cliff, but amazingly, it immediately arranges itself into a peaceful river to continue its journey. Even with the throngs of people around, you get a sense of being alone with the waterfall as it makes its way across the cliffs and through the forest before disappearing into Whitefish Bay.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

After a few moments at the deck, we worked our way towards the retail areas, and found the stores to be bursting with tourists. The wait was almost two hours at the brewery (a local whispered to us, “You are not missing out!”) and empty seats were scarce. Not wanting to be caught hiking past sunset, we grabbed a quick snack, and headed out to find the next trailhead.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

Unfortunately, other trails were not well marked and no one working at the Upper Falls’ site knew the trails well. We stumbled upon a trail in a far corner of the parking lot but the path was not well trodden and mosquitoes were plentiful. After a brave ten-minute foray into the woods, we gave up and headed back out of the woods to the better maintained Tahquamenon trail to make our way back to the Lower Falls.

tahquamenon falls michigan Tom Schmidt Photo travel blog

We ended our trip the next day with breakfast amongst the forest, and left the bustling campground for home. There is still more to explore in the UP, but for now, I have learned more than I ever did in all my college years spent in the mitten state. The UP may not have grandiose landscape, but it is full of rustic beauty simmering with quiet resilience. We will certainly visit again for another weekend escape from Chicago.


Travel Journal 

Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye

Images

Tom Schmidt :  schmidtphoto.com @tomschmidtphoto


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Applesauce Recipe – Easy Homemade Method

In Basics, Desserts, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian by Tom0 Comments

Homemade applesauce, although sort of resembles the store-bought stuff, blows it away with the soft texture and wonderful sweetness. Sometimes the simple things are worth making at home.

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Applesauce is another homemade item that you probably think: “Shoot, that probably requires some tools I don’t have…” Actually… all you need is a peeler, knife, pot and smasher. Boom applesauce! It’s so stinkin easy that you will likely pull it right into your set of GO TO recipes.

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The apples used in this recipe were of the variety “On Sale.” Yes, that is a variety most likely found at your grocery store. They may have been Fuji apples, but I forgot. I have made this easy applesauce recipe out of quite a few varieties of apples thus far and have not found a bad one. Some end up a little more tart than others, but absolutely edible. If it’s slightly tart, just give it a few days in the fridge and voilà it becomes sweeter.

Let’s Cook!


Applesauce Recipe for Best Chunky Applesauce!


Ingredients

3lbs Apples (on sale variety)
1/2 cup apple cider


Wash and peel all apples with regular potato peeler.

applesauce-homemade-easy-eat-with-tom-foodblog-schmidt-photo_2094applesauce-homemade-easy-eat-with-tom-foodblog-schmidt-photo_2095applesauce-homemade-easy-eat-with-tom-foodblog-schmidt-photo_2097


Roughly cut out the core of the apples. You are going to cook them to death, so a little bit of peel or core is going to be softened up.
Chop into smaller chunks, like 4 per apple half.
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Toss into pot and add apple cider from your favorite local Michigan Family. Set over medium heat and cover with lid. It will seem a little dry at this point, but never fear, the apples will start to give up lots of water and it will not burn.
applesauce-homemade-easy-eat-with-tom-foodblog-schmidt-photo_2100


Check on the apples after 5 minutes and reduce heat to a low boil once it starts bubbling. Remain covered and stir occasionally.


Once the apples begin to soften and lose their shape, about 25-30 minutes of cooking, remove from heat. Smash with a potato masher to achieve desired consistency.


Let’s Eat!

Applesauce Recipe - Easy Homemade Method
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade applesauce, although sort of resembles the store bought stuff, blows it away with the soft texture and wonderful sweetness. Sometimes the simple things are worth making at home.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 3lbs Apples (on sale variety)
  • ½ cup apple cider
Instructions
  1. Peel all apples with regular potato peeler.
  2. Roughly cut out the core of the apples. You are going to cook them to death, so a little bit of peel or core is going to be softened up.
  3. Chop into smaller chunks, like 4 per apple half.
  4. Toss into pot and add apple cider.
  5. Set over medium heat and cover with lid. It will seem a little dry at this point, but never fear, the apples will start to give up lots of water and it will not burn.
  6. Check on the apples after 5 minutes and reduce heat to a low boil once it starts bubbling. Remain covered and stir occasionally.
  7. Once the apples begin to soften and lose their shape, about 25-30 minutes of cooking, remove from heat.
  8. Smash with a potato masher to achieve desired consistency.
  9. Let’s Eat!