From the Tree to the Jar

Move over Martha, I am trail blazing behind you in the kitchen sista!  I have been one home cooking, fall loving, apple butter making woman and I am on fire, fire I tell ya! 

Last week it was pumpkin butter. Yesterday it was whole wheat pumpkin muffins and spinach muffins.  Today it was apple butter.  We picked the apples when Nana was here.  Who by the way gave me a hard time about the amount of apples we picked.  Let me just tell you dear Nana, out of those 20 or so bushels we 4 or 5 left!!!!  Only 2 were bruised or went bad but the others have all been consumed or used (in said muffins or apple butter).  So last night I started the apple butter.  I started with a large crockpot of peeled and sliced apples.  I added almost 4 cups of sugar, several dashes of cinamon (I could have measured but that would have made too much sense), a few dashes of nutmeg and maybe 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.  I heated the crockpot to high and left it there until I went to bed, at which point I turned it down to low.  Every time I woke up to nurse a baby (all 4 times) I smelled the fanstastic aroma of apples and cinamon.  Truth be known, I am not a big fan of either one.  I don’t care too much for candles with the smell.  Something about the real thing though, something about the warmth of a crockpot full of real cooking apples, sugar and cinamon just smells so wonderful.  It made me want to cuddle up with a big blanket and watch movies with those I love most.  Ahhh.  So, I woke up to the amazing smell and after feeding kids breakfast (pumpkin muffins and vanilla yogurt), nursing babies, changing babies diapers and clothes, then putting the babies down for nap and having a little math lesson with the big kids I finally got around to finishing up the apple butter.  I put small batches of the mix into the blender and mixed it until it was creamy and smooth.  The big kids grabbed a spoon and had to try it (again and again..don’t worry, they used a clean spoon each time!).  Once I finally go the courage,  I finally, for the first time EVER, canned some of it.  I did it!  I canned something!  I was so nervous, I thought for sure I would mess it up.  I have to admitt, it was easy.  I put the apple butter into the jar, put the lid on (after soaking the lids in a simmering bath for a while) and put the lid on tight.  I let the jar with lids get all happy in a boiling water bath for around 20 or so minutes.  I removed the jars and made sure the lid didn’t give (which would mean the vacuum seal did NOT work).  Viola, canned apple butter! 

Here are a few pictures of the progression from Tree to Jar.  I wish I would have gotten pictures of Vincent helping me wash the apples, oh well, next time….

And here are some of the other creations I have come up with:

Whole wheat pumpkin apple muffins.  Notice the two bites taken out.  Vincent thought he would just walk by and take a bite, what a silly kiddo!

Spinach and Garlic muffins:  Kenniston scarfed down 3 of these during lunch today.  Needless to say, they are all gone!

Updated: October 24, 2008 — 6:09 am
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