We headed back to Sebastopol for Ryder’s BFF’s 4th birthday.  The boys had a blast!  Jack loves cars/tractors, etc.  So I don’t think we had even stepped foot out of the car and he spotted the red tractor out in the field.  I’m going to digress a bit, we all loaded up in my van and headed to Sebastopol (which is about an hour drive).  I was laughing shortly into the drive, there were 4 kids in the back and Kendra and I in the front.  The decipal level coming from the back was so high, and I looked at her and said “and I want more!?”  It’s funny when it’s a one time thing for a short amount of time but is this what I would want to do everyday?  Loading up 4 kids and listening to their craziness?  Actually, yes!  I may sound crazy but I do believe I would love it!  Maybe not all the time, but I can handle the chaos.

So back to our day, we picked fruit and had a picnic and ate yummy cupcakes.  It was such a lovely day.  Of course I hauled fruit home, but I was much more conservative b/c I knew I didn’t want any to go bad and, to be honest, I was getting a bit burned out on canning.  So I picked enough pears to can 2 more big jars and some peaches (but we devoured those before they ever made it into a jar- which is what you should do).  I still had 2 giant baskets full of apples that needed to be cored and peeled so I went easy on the apples. 

On Saturday morning Ryder and I started preparing the apples for applesauce. 

 I’m amazed at how good of a helper Ryder is.  He peeled and cored about 1/3 of the apples, I would put the apple on the prongs and he would turn the handle until it was peeled and cored and then drop the apple into the lemon water bath. 

 We had fun and he’s so stoked about eating applesauce that he actually made!  That’s what is so great about having kids help with cooking (or anything for that matter).  There is a sense of pride and accomplishment.  I find he is much more open to trying different foods when he’s helped in making or growing or picking it.

We have a small bag of apples left that I would like to turn into apple butter- but we are heading out of town this week so if they haven’t been eaten’ and are still there when we return that’s what they will become.

As for canning, I think I’m done, well I do think about canning tomatoes, but I might wait till next year.  My tomatoes aren’t producing like I had hoped (I need to change their location next year).  So I might just eat them all- we’ll see.

Ryder’s new skill is cracking eggs. He is better than I am- I think there were only 2 little shells in the bowl and he (with absolutely no help from me) cracked 10 eggs for the frittata- way to go little man!