Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm Back, Baby!

(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.


Granny on the Web said...

I can taste it from here... delicious.
Love Granny

Bella said...

yum! sounds good! glad to see ya back.

Sandi McBride said...

I used to help my Grannie make applebutter...I still have the burn scars from hot bubbling applebutter on my arms to prove it!
Welcome back!

Suldog said...

Well, the apple butter sounds nice, but the homemade English Muffins would really float my boat. Yum!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Yum Yum ~ Eddie

Snowbrush said...

So, you're pulling poor mugged Steven's farts while baking. I really must confess that your life is more interesting than mine.