The secret to my happy marriage is applesauce
Divorce is not easy. I've never been divorced, but I share my life with a man who was previously married, and we both live daily with the after-effects of that doomed relationship. If I'm being honest, the act of dissolving a marriage isn't much different than going through a bad breakup — the only difference is that you are forced to divide all of your worldly possessions. Or, if you are my husband, you decide it isn't worthwhile and leave with practically nothing.
Thankfully my husband was not left with the belief that all women are evil, not to be trusted and should therefore be avoided like a large plate of lima beans with a side of chicken livers. Of course, issues still arise. It has taken years to convince him that no matter how much I hate him sometimes, I will always love him. Oh yes, there are days I hate that man so much I can't see straight. I always make an effort to remind him, and myself, that in those painful moments, I love him more than ever.
I can't imagine life without him.
Well I can, but I don't think it would be very fun, and I can almost guarantee I would have a hard time finding another person who could live with, accept and love me the way he does. While not all relationships are the same, I feel that if both parties want to be together, love one another and are willing to communicate, they can find a way to make it happen.
In our case, divorce wasn't a bad thing. It was the path for us to find one another and create a relationship that neither of us had previously experienced — one that revolves around trust, love, friendship and every so often just a tad bit of hate to make things interesting.
Every so often, I decide my husband and I are simply getting along too well, and we need a project to make us both snippy and to force us to work with one another.
This time around it was applesauce.
When visiting my brother's grave on the first year anniversary of his death, we made the bright decision to buy half a bushel of apples. Three months later, most of those apples are still sitting in the drawer of our fridge looking sad and forgotten. In a last ditch effort to save them from the garbage disposal, I decided that my husband and I should make applesauce with them — together.
Well, to be honest, I wanted him to make the applesauce on an evening I was working late. I rarely ask him to enter the kitchen on his own — or with me, for that matter — but this time around I felt as if there was no possible way for him to mess things up. I left him with simple instructions and made sure to go over them with him several times to make sure he clearly understood them and was actually listening to me. You never know if he's real listening, pretend listening, or selective-hearing listening.
On the evening of the joint applesauce making adventure, I arrived home earlier than planned and found him just beginning to peel the apples. My dreams of walking into our home and discovering a big batch of perfectly made applesauce were over. I was going to have to step in and help out, because watching my husband alone in my kitchen truly upsets me. I love my gadgets, utensils and cooking implements way too much to leave them in the hands of anyone other than me.
We miraculously made it through the evening, chopping, cooking and cleaning together without any ill feelings or harsh words. To honor such a joyous occasion, we ate applesauce for dinner and celebrated yet another day in which we both came out alive, in love and not being strung up for the squirrels.
Natural cranberry applesauce recipe
- 10 apples
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Peel, core and dice the apples into evenly sized chunks.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, place the diced apples, whole cranberries and sea salt.
- Cook the apples and cranberries for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the apples have broken down into chunky applesauce consistency.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the cinnamon, and then allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla and remove it from heat.
Tips: I used Cortland apples in this recipe, but you may also use Braeburn, McIntosh, Golden Delicious or Fuji. Use the back of a wooden spoon to help break down the apples and cranberries every 5 – 10 minutes.Add a few tablespoons of sugar if you prefer sweetened applesauce. Add a tablespoon or two of whiskey to the applesauce while it is cooking down.