Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Apple Butter Gang.....

Forgive this walk down Memory Lane, but when I was a kid, I got a great thrill out of Movie Saturdays at the elementary school. You see, one of my Girl Scout friends had a dad who had a great love for movies. On Saturdays during the school year, and occasionally in the summers, Mr. H would show movies to the kids using the projector. These were the days when movies and films in class were shown with big honkin' projectors and you had to get the reels just so......... Kids today have no idea how good we had it.

For the grand princely sum of 50c/week, we got to see not one but TWO kid-friendly movies in the cafeteria. Mr. H also provided popcorn and cotton candy for a little extra money. The movies were the great Disney 70s fare like Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Cat From Outer Space, the original Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster, and one of my very favorites, The Apple Dumpling Gang with Tim Conway and Don Knotts. If memory serves, I also saw the first Superman with Christopher Reeve on one of those Saturdays.

But anyway, last Saturday, I became a one-woman Apple Butter Gang. As I mentioned in my last post, I got possessed, bought 3 pecks of apples, and found a very easy crock-pot apple butter recipe online! The adventure of making apple butter was more like a misadventure from one of the Apple Dumpling Gang movies -- and just as much fun! These are some of the things I learned from my great apple butter adventure:
  • The crock-pot that I thought was 6 quarts is only 5. Oh well. What can you do? Okay, what I really wanted to do was get my happy rear to Kohl's for the 8-quart crockpot they had on sale earlier this week. Like I need it. I do. Don't I?
  • Whomever created the recipe has a serious sweet tooth! :) The original recipe called for 2 c sugar for three pounds of apples. It said you could substitute Splenda. So I did. And let me tell you.......... 1.5 cups of Splenda was PLENTY for 6 pounds of AB's -- honestly, almost too much. I could have gotten away with just 1 cup of the Brown Sugar Splenda.
  • When it says cook on Low for 8-10 hours, go with the 10. I ended up putting the apple mush in the fridge until Monday evening, then getting it out to cook down some more. And honestly, I could have let it go for maybe even 11-12? These were some seriously juicy apples!
  • Five quarts of apple pieces will cook down by half. What I thought might be 1 gallon (4 quarts) of apple butter was only 72 oz (9 half-pint jars). Yeah, that's still a buttload of apple butter. And I have more to make ..... I gotta do something with these apples! We will also be making and freezing some applesauce too. MMMM!!!!
  • And, homemade apple butter definitely beats store-bought! ANY day.
Signing off now!
Suzy Homemaker

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