applesauce with maple syrup and fresh nutmeg – no gifts this year…





Kaitie and Sara will be spending Christmas at home this year. Two of my kittens tucked in their beds, in my house, for me to fuss over. The only thing better would be to have Meggie too! No guilt Meg – I’m just sayin’…

Knowing that I’ll have the girls on Christmas morning is heaven to me but here’s the kicker – NO GIFTS this year. We’ve never done ‘no gifts’. We’re a ‘Santa got stuck here” kinda house. However, after just having spent a week in Mexico celebrating Meggie and Theo’s nuptials, as a family, we decided to forgo gifts this year to ease the stress and pressure of having to spend money that we don’t have.

So what will we do on Christmas morning?

We’ll get up – that’s a given. Then we’ll make our special coffees. Mom bought us really tall Christmas hot chocolate mugs that we fill with coffee and Bailey’s. Ralph will put on the Christmas music and light the fire. This is where we sit in front of our tree and exchange our much anticipated gifts.

When the girls were little, Ralph and I were not parents who constantly bought gifts for their children. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and grading brought gifts. New clothes were bought at the end of every summer before school started. Gifts celebrated the day. As the girls got older and started buying their own gifts to give away, it became even more special. I have every plastic brooch, homemade tree ornament, cookbook, vase, over-sized sweater, kitchen gadget and hand made card from my girls. Their excitement over giving gifts was ten fold over receiving them. Don’t get me wrong, they LOVED seeing the parcels under the tree Christmas morning with their names on them but they were busting for Ralph and I to see their packages to us!

Hmmm… since that’s not going to happen; fast forward. We’ll start making breakfast. The girls will set the table. Ralph and I will putter in the kitchen, cooking bacon, poaching eggs and toasting bread. The phone will start to ring. Mom and Dad, my uncle Joe, Ralph’s brother Chris then his mom and dad will all call to wish us a Merry Christmas. Just about then my doorbell will ring and my brother Paul will arrive for his Christmas kisses. The phone will ring again. We’re three hours ahead of Meg so she’ll just be waking up.

We’ll have a beautiful breakfast. I’ll tell the girls stories about when they were little at Christmas time. It never gets tired! By then Mom and Dad will have made their way to our house. If there’s ice on the Lily Lake, we’ll go skating. Or maybe just a walk with Fynn down on the waterfront. Something out doors before we sit down to our Christmas dinner. This year, I’m doing a prime rib roast of beef. Turkey doesn’t agree with me anymore – too rich. So we’re having beef and Yorkshire pudding with all the fixings.

My anxiety over NO GIFTS is silly. Being together is THE GIFT. The day will be perfect!

I made this applesauce to use in muffins to serve over the holidays. I’ll freeze it until then.

Applesauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Nutmeg
Makes 3 cups

3 quarts of apples – I used a mixture of Cortland, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Russet, Honey Crisp and McIntosh
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated

THE STEPS:

Peel apples and slice thinly
Place apples in a heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat
Cover pot and leave for 5 minutes
Stir apples every 5 minutes until desired texture is reached. I like my sauce chunky.
Remove pot from heat and stir in maple syrup and ground nutmeg.
Serve warm or cold.
Freezes perfectly!

THE LOVE: You have to taste the apple sauce after you add the syrup and nutmeg. I want the flavour of the apples to dominate so I go very light. You might like the maple or the nutmeg to be more pronounced. Add a little more at a time until you find the flavour that you love. Remember you can’t take it out once it’s been stirred in!

printable recipe

one year ago: applesauce cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting

two years ago: chocolate mousse

Thanks for reading.

  • Taking the stress out of the holiday is a good thing. Allows for more introspection don’t you think?

  • oh. my. goodness… YUMMMMM

  • Cindy McCallum

    One of our family’s favourite traditions is Christmas stockings. I actually look forward to opening the stockings more than the gifts. For me it’s fun to shop for items to put in the stockings and even more fun to watch my daughters and husband empty theirs. This could be an inexpensive alternative to gift giving. You could even limit the stockings to a few items if desired, rather than filling them all the way up. We always open ours while enjoying our coffee before breakfast. This year, I’m going to add Bailey’s Irish Cream to our coffees! Great idea!

    • Great idea Cindy! I’ll run it by everyone to see what they think. You’re gonna love the coffee and Bailey’s!

  • Meggie

    beautiful pics mama!

    I love our Family Christmas! I will miss this Christmas morning this yearxo

    • Thanks Sweetie! I’m going to get Sara to give me a cut out of you… xo

  • Amanda_See

    Your Christmas plans sound lovely. The best Christmas I remember as a child is the one when the river behind our house was safe for skating. We had an impromptu hockey game after our big mid-day dinner and it was one of the best Christmas days ever. Spending time with family and enjoying good food and winter weather – perfect!