Apple Butter Fool

We went to our friends Traci and Jackie’s place over in Wisconsin this past weekend for Jackie’s 50th birthday party. It was a great time with family friends. Traci and Jackie have a tiny little farm where they raise beef and have apple trees. Being the opportunist I am with regard to food that will otherwise go to waste, along with my friend Shelly and her husband Jaimie, (Jaimie calls it “opportunivore”) we set to task of relieving Traci and Jackie of their apples that they were not going to pick.

I don’t know how much I ended up with at my house, but it was enough to give a neighbor about 20 apples and bring an entire Kowalski’s bag full down to the Dorothy Day Center (homeless shelter in downtown St. Paul.) In addition to the apples we shared with others I made French toast with sauteed apples, oats with cinnamon apples, I put apples into our vegetarian roast for dinner tonight, the boys ate likely their individual weights in apples each, (Gabriel at times had two and sometimes three apples working at once!)

My most happy accomplishment, however, was the apple butter which is still cooking as I type this. I made the first round starting this morning. Travis helped me cut, gut and peel the apples and put them into the crock pot. The first batch I did simple with a bit of cardamom (not too much, cardamom can take on a soapy flavor if you use too much,) cinnamon and about a cup to a cup and a half of organic sugar. They cooked all day and the house smelled amazing. I had two crock pots going today; One had apples buttering and the other had dinner roasting. It was a beautiful smell.

The first batch I netted five pints of apple butter.

After our vegetarian roast dinner, while the girls cleaned up the kitchen, I set to cutting, gutting and peeling the rest of the apples. I filled the crock again and decided on grated ginger and lemon zest along with the sugar this time. I am anxious for morning to find out how it turned out. It will surely be good on warm buttery toast. I expect to net four or five pints from this batch.

Today I also started two and a half gallons of kimche and a half gallon of plain sauerkraut on the request of Travis. He doesn’t care for kimche. I put into the kimche, carrots, cabbage, red cabbage, ginger, lemongrass, radishes, garlic, and onion. I get excited making fermented food. I love testing the cabbages each day and watching them all bubble away in their jars.

This week I will go volunteer with Sisters Camelot again. It will be interesting to see what comes home with me in need of immediate processing. This canning thing could be a big deal for me I think.

I will attempt photos tomorrow.



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