Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apples & Memories

It is that time of year. Apple time. A very exciting time for me. Lots of memories; of camping and Littleton, of seeing lots of different varieties of apples in farm stands, (or even the grocery store), of recess and yellow jackets, of the sound of that first bite, of that wonderful sweet/tart sticky smell.

As I mentioned the other day, Karen gave me a bag of apples. Did I mention the bag was too heavy for one person to lift? So now I have 2 big bags in the freezer for pies, muffins, or pancakes, and a half gallon of apple sauce and more apples left with no room in the freezer.

I started thinking about recipes that take lots of apples and of course the first one that came to mind was apple butter. That brought back another memory of when John and I were first living together and I was trying to show him what a good cook I was. I decided to make apple butter and went to my go to cookbook of that time, Fanny Farmer. HOw simple-- you just throw the apples in a pot and stir constantly until thick, adding a little sugar and cinnamon along the way if you want. What they didn't say was how long it takes for the apple butter to get thick. Well, it was a long time.

Today, I opened my church cookbook for a recipe and had a good chuckle I wanted to pass along. Here is the recipe. It is from Marie J. Tardy and was dated 1979.

12 bushels apples, peeled, cored &cut into eights, vinegar, salt, 3 gal. water, 80 lbs. sugar, 1/2 lb cinnamon

After peeling, coring and cutting the apples, you will have 8-9 bushel of "snits". At about 6 o'clock the second morning, start to cook the apples. You need a copper kettle which will hold about 30 gallons of apple butter. After fire is started, wash kettle out with vinegar and salt, rinse with clear water. Then add about 3 gallons of water and about 2 bushel of snits. Let them cook about 1 hour, stirring continuously, then begin adding more until all snits cook into a smooth apple sauce. At 2 p.m. Add about 80 pounds of sugar and cook 2 hours more. Then add cinnamon and cook 20 minutes longer. Then dip off into any size jars you wish and seal tight. Apple butter has been known to keep as long as 8 to 10 years. Note: Stir continuously from the beginning of the cooking of the apples until taking the apple butter off so that it doesn't stick and burn.

I have a few ?s. If you start cooking the apples at 6 a.m. what time do you start the fire? What is magical about adding 80lbs. of sugar at 2p.m? And most importantly how many people does it take to make apple butter?

That's all for now-- I have to go give the critters some snits.

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