A few weeks ago, I took the kids up to our favorite apple picking orchard - Beardsley Cider Mill and Apple Orchard - hurrying to get there before the orchards closed at 5:00 p.m.
When we got there, we discovered that I hadn't read the website closely enough. The store is open daily until 5:30, but the apple orchards are only open on the weekends.
So we had a good laugh, and spent our time in the store drinking fresh hot cider, buying apple cider doughnuts, apple pies and more.
Since we came to pick apples, we each chose a peck of apples from the store's display bushels filled with apples the owners had previously picked.
Soon all the apples were cooked. The house smelled heavenly.
A bushel of cooked apples was passed little by little through the Foley food mill.
And four pots of applesauce were set to boil for hours and hours (actually days). I cook them over medium heat stirring every five minutes - so this is a slow laborious process.
Then I added the rest of the ingredients from the recipe and the spices that turn the applesauce into apple butter: cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Now the house really smelled delicious.
Now each pot was a golden brown. It was just a matter of cooking down the spiced applesauce until it was thick and rich.
Finally, after a few days of cooking and stirring and stirring and cooking, the apple butter was complete. I cleaned and sterilized the Mason jars, filled each one with apple butter, and sealed them tight in boiling water according to the canning instructions. I had such a bounty that this year I'll have more than enough apple butter to last the season.
The best part of all? Primogeniture actually tried and liked apple butter for the very first time. Secundogeniture and I have been fans for a long time. Now we've brought one more into the fold. Life is good. We love to eat it on fresh baked bread, English muffins, heck, just about anything!