Sunday, October 10, 2010

When I was a little girl in Columbia, Missouri, my best friend, Carolyn Jackson, used to invite me over after school. Carolyn’s family had a cook named Maggie, who kept their home smelling of spices. My favorite time of year to go to Carolyn’s was autumn. Maggie made dozens of quart jars of her famous Apple Butter. There, sitting on the stove top, bubbling away in a big heavy kettle, was the thick, golden brown, cinnamon laced apple butter just waiting for us to come popping into the kitchen. Maggie would take a big wooden spoon and after stirring twice, would slather a piece of her warm homemade bread (just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?) with her spicy treasure. She would have us sit down on the back porch, where she would place 2 big glasses of cold milk and a plate of the bread with apple butter on the porch between us. Trust me when I say every time I see an apple, I think of Maggie’s Apple Butter. Ah-h-h, to be 9 years old again!
Today, the process of making apple butter isn’t as time consuming as it used to be. Maggie had to stay close to the stove to stir her heavenly mixture frequently, or it would stick and burn. Now, we only have to fill the slow cooker with the chunks of apples, add the rest of the ingredients, place the lid on top, set temperature on “low” and go to bed for a peaceful night’s sleep. The next morning, you wake up to the aroma of apples and cinnamon! Now, if only Maggie lived with you, you could also smell the freshly baked bread.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
12 c. apples, peeled, cored and sliced
6 c. sugar or 6 packets Sweet and Low
6 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Put all the above in crock pot. Cover and cook on high 6-7 hours. Uncover and cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until thick.

NOTE: This is coarser than most apple butter but better than most. Jonathan apples make the best flavored butter.

While we are on the subject of apples, my Mom’s Apple Raisin Cookies were always wonderful. In fact, my 2 favorite cookies have always been her Sugar Cookies and these Apple Raisin Cookies.


1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
3/4 c. soft butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. water
1 c. diced raw apples
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 c. raisins

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices into mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg, and water. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fold in apples, rolled oats, and raisins.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Hope you have lots of apples this fall, they are crunchy and delicious! And if you are in the Kansas City area, drive south on 69 highway to Louisburg, Kansas. There, just west on highway 68, you will find the Louisburg Cider Mill

Check out their web page and event calendar. Once you are there, you are just a few minutes away from Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery!

Please come and check us out….sit out on the veranda with a bottle of chilled wine, and if you bring along a picnic lunch, you can sit there and spend the afternoon in total comfort and relaxation. If you don’t want to bring a lunch, Cindy has wonderful hummus, pita chips, buffalo and elk sausages and Christopher Elbow Chocolates available in the tasting room. And you don’t want to miss the live jazz on the veranda!

No comments:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker