I rarely eat apple butter. By rarely, I mean once every 6 years. It's just not something that I pick up and put in the grocery cart when I'm shopping. This year, however, I had a big bushel (read: laundry basket... someday I'd like to get a real bushel to put apples in) full of apples from our tree to either do something with or let rot, and I hate seeing food go to waste.... I had to do something.
I didn't think I had enough apples to get a decent amount of applesauce, so I wanted to try my hand at apple butter. I canned applesauce with my Mom when I was younger, so I knew (generally) how to do that, but making apple butter was new to me.
Since I am so very pregnant, my very lovely sister Linda came to help me make it! Due to an unforeseen alarm clock malfunction, she didn't get to my house until basically lunchtime, so we didn't start making the apple butter until 2:00-ish (girls gotta eat!!) so it wasn't actually finished the day she was there.... because, as it turns out, apple butter takes a heckahecka long time to make!
It didn't help that I kept on boobing everything up, leaving lids on the pots (FYI, you're supposed to cook the apple butter with the lids OFF the pots so the steam can escape... who knew? Not me! Deena did, and props to her for sharing her apple-butter-making secrets with me!) and being all pregnant and having to sit and put my feet up and take snack breaks and tea breaks and supper breaks.
Anyway, we started the process by washing the apples and cutting out their hairy butts and stems. Apple butter is actually way easier than applesauce to prepare, because you just cut up the apples, peels & cores & all, and throw the pieces in a pot with an itty bitty amount of water, cook them until they're soft and then grind them through the masher thingy to get the appley goodness separated from the pulpy crap. Then, you add spices (I added cinnamon and nutmeg, but not cloves because cloves are gross) and put it on the stove and cook it and cook it and cook it and cook it forever and ever and ever amen.
And since I knew I was starting my blog back up, and knew that I would want to blog about making apple butter, I very dutifully took pictures that day of Linda in the kitchen helping me make it.
Yeah, Linda is so totally awesome. Look at her go! Make that apple butter! Shake what your Momma gave ya!
My laundry basket full of apples made a lot more apple butter than I thought it would! All three of my big pots were full to the brim. Of course, by the time the apple butter was ready to can, all three pots were half full because it has to cook down so much.
It was three days later before I actually canned anything... Adeena, Jeff & the kids came over to our place for dinner and a movie, and Adeena helped me can my first batch! I was so happy. It was a momentous occasion for sure!
These have been sitting on my countertop for a week, and they may just stay there all Winter, because I love looking at them and knowing that all the work I put into making apple butter paid off! :D
Deklan likes it, Tyler likes it, I like it, and we get to enjoy it for hopefully the next few months before it's all gone!
Next year I'd like to can a lot more! Not just apple butter, many different things! I enjoyed it. :)