A letter, found: Mamaw's apple butter recipe
Perhaps this is the week in which I let others speak for me? I'd fully intended to write a full-blown entry today, but my findings a few minutes ago mean that I think I'm going to let someone else's words speak for me again today.
The letter is dated May 10, 2001. I have been looking for it since June, and it reappeared about twenty minutes ago while I was cleaning out under my desk. It is in my grandmother's handwriting, and it details her apple butter recipe:
I use a crock pot to cook the apples in—that way it is not necessary to stand and stir a lot. Then, too, the apples to do not stick to the cookware as bad as when using an open pot.
"Slice apples into the crockpot—fill it full—put about 3 or 4 cups of sugar on top and let it set overnight. Add spices—cinnamon, allspice & a little nutmeg—about 1 tsp. each or whatever suits your taste—cook 3 or 4 hours.*
"I prefer 'Delicious' apples for this. If the apples are real tart—will have to use more sugar. My apple butter probably doesn't taste as good as what your grandfather used to make—but he liked to do a lot of stirring—I never seemed to have enough time for that.
"* Do not add water. The sugar will draw the juices out in a short time—
"Lots of luck!
Obviously, there are parts left out. It would help to know what size her crockpot is, but I'm fairly certain it's about the same size as mine, or a little smaller. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to peel and core the apples, as well. Then once the apple butter's done, you have to jar it up and run the jars through a boiling-water bath for safety reasons.
I have a jar of her apple butter in my fridge. It's been in my fridge, unopened, since Jeff and I moved away. I've been unwilling to open it until I had more in reserve. Sure, it doesn't taste all that different from store-bought apple butter, but it's chunkier, and it was made by my grandmother. That makes it very, very different indeed.