Yesterday would have been Mom’s 70th birthday.
While I’ve tried so desperately to celebrate her life through her culinary legacy, it’s inevitable: her absence is always felt. Every day. For the past four years.
This weekend, I kept myself busier than usual so I wouldn’t focus on this unwelcomed anniversary.
I celebrated fall with my family. We pumpkin picked. We painted pumpkins. We carved pumpkins. We made pumpkin seeds. We apple picked.
And now, I’m back in my city apartment, staring down 20 pounds of apples and two pumpkins. Both probably better served for suburbia.
First order of business, start working down the long list of apple-based dishes I’ve earmarked for our new bounty.
Aside from the effort involved peeling, coring and cutting the apples (unless of course you buy apples already prepared), making apple butter is a non-event. Your slow cooker does all the work.
You’ll need 10-11 hours of slow cooking so it’s best to plan to make the butter over night. When you awaken you’ll be greeted to a kitchen wafting with the comforting smells of apples, sugar and spices.
I served the sinfully sweet butter with fresh Challah bread.
My kids also love the spread with peanut butter. Leftovers? It freezes well and, when packaged in Ball jars, makes thoughtful housewarming gifts.
On Mom’s birthday, it’s only fitting for me to create something sweet and comforting that everyone enjoys…
- 3-4 pounds apples; peeled, cored and diced
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- Mix sugar and spices in bowl.
- Add sugar mixture to diced apples in slow cooker.
- Cook for one hour at high heat, stirring occasionally.
- After one hour, reduce heat to low and cook for another 10-11 hours until apple mixture thickens.
- Spread is best when served warm. Stores well in freezer.