Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall and Apples!

Today was one of those absolutely beautiful Fall days.  The weather was cool but not cold.  There wasn't much wind and the sky didn't have a cloud in it as far as you could see.  It was crisp, clear and gorgeous out!  And we got to go to Brown County!  (for those not from Indiana, check out this site)

We had family pictures taken today by my very dear friend, Sarah of Lillybug Photography.  She always picks a different cabin in Brown County and she does Fall pictures there.  We love getting to go to the country, the Fall foliage there is breathtaking!  We walk around the woods around the cabin to find the best spots for pictures.  There is nothing better than a nice relaxing walk in the country.  We also always make a stop in Nashville, Indiana as well.  It has such quaint little shops and it's just a nice afternoon.  We were outdoors in the beautiful country.  Ahhhh.

Apples.  I was going to write about apples.  Apples mean apple crisp, apple pie filling and best of all, Apple Butter!  It seems like every waking moment not filled with school, kids sports or Scouts has been peeling apples.  I did get a wonderful peeling/coring machine from another friend that has been great, but, I'm a little picky and still take a paring knife to "clean up" any missed peels, seeds pockets, and whatnot.  

Yesterday, I peeled and cored about 30 pounds of apples to prep for apple butter.  I make mine in the crock pot and it takes about 18-20 hours on low for that quantity.  So after peeling and cutting all those apples, my hands are trashed.  I have so many nicks and cuts it's not funny.  I really whined about that after I did the apples when I cleared all the peppers out of the garden for the year and was cutting, dicing and de-seeding JALAPENO peppers.  Oh Lord, that stung...LOL.

Back to apples.  I rough chopped the apples and split them between multiple crock pots to cook.  I try to keep it fairly simple, apples, brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and nutmeg) and let the the crock pots do the work.  Once the apple butter is reduced and thickened I put it in sterilized jars and process them in a water bath canner.  

After feeling crappy about my hands stinging all day, I was kinda focusing on that as hubby drove us home...LOL.  Anyway, when we got home and walked in the house, oh the smell.  That wonderful smell of fresh, warm apple butter filled the entire house.  Oh, it was so yummy!  My husband even tried to convince me to fry some biscuits for him.  I told him no, he could wait.  Besides, I didn't have room to drag out the deep fryer when I had all the crock pots and the canning stuff out all over my tiny kitchen.  Don't worry, I'll make him some fried biscuits and apple butter this weekend!

So all in all, this weekend was an overall success.  Family pictures, a day in the country, apple crisp, homework done and several dozen jars of apple butter!  Woohoo!

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