(said in best George Costanza voice)
Saturdays are my days to relax. Relaxation, to me, is leisurely sipping coffee, catching up on reading and baking/cooking/creating til my heart's content.
Lately I haven't felt up to it, but today...
It's my third Saturday back and I've finally got my cooking groove back. Today I made homemade apple butter and English muffins from scratch. There are no pictures because my camera has gone missing. Maybe the dunderheads stole it. I'm not mad, I promise. I've got my pity hat on now.
I came home and rejoined the ranks of the church ladies. Lots of our church folks have gardens and mini orchards and if I don't eat the produce, it'll go bad, I swear! Lately the fruits of their labors have been apples. Mmmmm, home grown Granny Smiths.
Step One: Obtain Wal-Mart bag full of lovely, non-pesticide treated apples from church ladies. Thank them profusely.
Step Two: Get home, pull off leaves, wash apples, quarter and throw in pot. (Leaving on skins and cores for flavor and natural pectin).
Step Three: Add two cups water and one cup vinegar (you could also use apple cider vinegar or just apple cider, but you'll have to adjust the sugar later.)
Step Four: Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Apples'll get all mushy. It's okay!
Step Five: Toss the whole kit n' caboodle into a food mill (or, if you're spoiled like me, dump it into your Kitchenaid grinder/strainer).
Step Six: Dump resulting apple puree into a heavy pot. Add sugar (about 1/2 cup per cup of apple puree), 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each ground cloves and allspice. Stir, stir, stir.
Step Seven: Stand there stirring mixture until your arm falls off (about 2 hours at medium heat-don't you leave that pot!) Ooooorrrrr, stir occasionally with heat very low. Cook about 4-5 hours or until deep and dark gorgeous brown. You can even do this in the oven, again set very low or in a crockpot, though you'd want to leave the cover off to encourage evaporation/reduction magic.
Serve on English muffins or, if you're like me, scoop some into a coffee mug and eat it with a spoon. 'Cause we're so civilized around here, dontchaknow.