Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dreams do come true!

Just a couple of weeks ago, we posted about madly lusting for the sweet tastes of Fall. Well, today we can proudly say that our lusts have been fulfilled! Last weekend, we made a trip to the market where purchased the ingredients necessary for this apple butter recipe. Then on Sunday evening after returning from an amazing but exhausting day at the kite festival, I decided it was now or never. The recipe that I was working from is designed for a slow cooker, but since I'm working with the bare necessities here, I decided I would just cook it slowly, on the stove, not in a slow cooker. I certainly can't take credit for this deliciously simple recipe {that credit goes here}, but I am looking forward to the day when I can make it in a crock pot, just like the recipe suggests.

Crock Pot Apple Butter {yields 5 pints}

16 peeled, cored & chopped apples
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 C light brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt

Place all ingredients in crock pot and stir so all apples are coated. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW for 8 to 10 hours; stir occasionally.

Once the apples are a rich brown color and mash easily you can do one of two things. If you like your apple butter thick you can scoop the apple mixture into a mesh colander to drain off excess liquid before blending. If you like it thinner leave liquid in the mixture. With a hand-held blender, blend the apples to a lovely “apple butter consistency” in the pot until you reach your desired consistency. {If you don't have one, then just "pulse" it in your blender a few times}. Then can or freeze for enjoyment all winter long!

Since I don't have the supplies for canning here {and have never actually canned on my own} I just picked up a few of those ziplock reusable containers and popped them in my mini-freezer. The recipe says it yields 5 pints. I suppose I was just really hungry, because I expected a lot more. Next time I think I may double it, can them up real cute {after I purchase some canning materials} and gift them to my friends and family.

Here are a few photos of the work in progress. {Oh and did I mention that I had to get up a few times in the middle of the night to check on my "slow cooking"? It's true - I did.}

the fresh cut apples

coated in delicious sugar & spice

several hours into the cooking

the final product

I love homemaking! One day I'm gonna make someone a real good housewife. {Hint, Hint!}

Then just a few days later, Greg came to Guatemala with a bag full of surprises for us. You'll never guess what made the trip the whole way from Colorado........

That's right! Dechutes Black Butte Porter.

Just so happened that he was sipping on a BBP while reading through our blog one evening back in Denver. Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you want......Ben called it just what the wanna-be beer brewer ordered! {And please excuse his tie-dye - he was in the middle of painting when Greg dropped by.}

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