The other day I had to leave my 3 year-old at preschool screaming like she was being tortured. I sat outside her classroom, putting notes in other parents’ baskets about something, crying. I distributed the materials with one hand, and wiped my tears with the other. It felt like someone ripped my heart out. After a parents’ meeting, I went by my daughter’s classroom and pressed my ear up to the door, and no crying. I get in my car and look in the rear view mirror and what do I see? Mascara. Lots of mascara. Why would no one tell me I looked like Tammy Faye Baker? I think that is just wrong. A group of preschool moms is certainly no fashion show, but there are some standards for appearance. Maybe they didn’t want to offend me, but I know when my friend Kim told me I had toilet paper tagging along on the bottom of my shoe I was pretty darn grateful.
Anyway, I hurried home to administer my eye-make up remover, and then looked at the clock. Realizing that I had two hours left without one of my kids crying or fighting (within earshot at least) I needed to do something fun. So, I went to the farmers market. I bought a half bushel of apples that turned out to be 60 cents a pound. That made me feel better. Hubby and I spent part of the weekend canning apple sauce and apple butter. The apple sauce wasn’t necessarily hard, but the apple butter is down right quick to make, if you are decent at peeling apples. I would say you can expect to invest 10 minutes into making this batch, which yields 2 pints of delicious apple butter. If kept in the fridge, the apple butter does not have to be canned. My sister-in-law Connie keeps hers on the counter without refrigeration, but I’ve always been afraid to try that. Yes, I can hear mom in my head right now – – “She lived.”
Apple Butter in the Slow Cooker
- a slow cooker full of mixed apples
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, or until apples start to break down. Stir every few hours. Mash apples with potato masher or big spoon. Cook uncovered on low heat setting 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick. Cool about 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.