Tuesday, October 8, 2013

homemade apple butter




Sunday afternoon I was driving back from Indiana, having just celebrated John's niece's wedding.  It was the first time coming back into town since we've moved.  Passing our old exit... having the rain paint the windshield... feeling the cool of Fall roll in... I suddenly missed our home.  I missed the familiar.  I missed what was comfortable.    

Believe me.  No second thoughts here about selling.  There were many layers to our decision to do so, and we absolutely did what we needed to do.  But I guess - all at once - it hit me.  We aren't home.  Not yet, anyway.

For the first time in years, I don't have a front porch to don with corn stalks and pumpkins. I have no reason to by a hay bale or two.  My Fall decorations are somewhere stacked in a box, piled up high with lots of other boxes full of whatever.  In my head I'm reminded that if this is all I have to concern myself with, I am so very blessed.  Yet in my heart, I'm feeling a bit lost.

So now that Daniel's football practice three or four nights a week is officially over, and we have more time back in our schedule, I am filling my void with even more Fall cooking, reading Fall recipes, experimenting with Fall flavor combos, and sharing my favorite finds with you.  

Circling back to our niece's wedding, Ashley worked herself silly in the weeks leading up to the big day making wonderful, homemade apple butter to give away as favors for wedding guests. It's distinct cloves overtone is marvelous and sets this recipe apart from others I've had.  To yours truly, a slightly forlorned, Fall-lovin', yet currently wondering soul, Ashley's sweet gesture gave me just enough comfort and taste of home.  It made my heart smile and blessed me immensely.  I could easily see this tucked in a small basket with a few homemade scones or a set of unique biscuit cutters like these with your favorite biscuit recipe.

If you start making this soon, you'll have plenty to give away come Thanksgiving or Christmas. Easy, delicious comfort.  Go and bless someone!

Homemade Apple Butter
makes approx. 17 pint-sized jars
  • 4 quarts apple sauce
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
~ Mix all ingredients together and pour into crock-pot.

~ Cook on HIGH for 3 hours with lid on. Remove lid and cook another 5-8 hours.

~ Seal in canning jars and store in cool place or cover in airtight container and refrigerate.