We have our first real fire of the season in the fireplace today, so the three of us spent most of the morning snuggling on the couch and soaking up the warmth. Now my Boy and his daddy are off to Home Depot, and I got a phone call from Ben that they “just happened” to discover a classic car show in the parking lot. What a coincidence…
The weather has been so beautiful the last couple of days, so I’ve been enjoying taking The Boy outside with me when I go to take care of the critters. He likes to stand beside the chicken coop and chat with the girls — he tells them stories, shows them toys, and “feeds” them twigs and leaves. A few days ago, he took his ultrasound picture outside, held it against the fence so they could see it, and told them all about his little brother. My sweet little Farmer Boy.
A couple of people have requested the apple butter recipe I used this week. I sort of combined several recipes, and here’s what I came up with:
- 15 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used a combination of Pink Lady and Granny Smith)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Layer the apple slices and granulated sugar in slow cooker, and let sit for several hours. Add brown sugar, spices, and salt, and stir carefully to coat apples. Cook on high for one hour, then reduce to low and cook for 10 hours. Mash apples with a potato masher till no large pieces remain. Makes about four pints, which can be canned and processed in a 15-minute boiling water bath.
- Some “rustic” recipes ask you to leave the apples unpeeled and use an immersion blender to smooth out the finished product. Others suggest placing the apple butter in a mesh or cheesecloth-lined strainer to allow excess liquid to drain off. I didn’t do either of these things, and we love the texture my apple butter ended up having.
The cozy fire made today seem like a good day for baking, so I tried a recipe for Harvest Cake from the blog of a fellow chicken keeper. Let me just say… yum. It has apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and everything else comforting and autumnal. Given the number of people in the Northeast who are without power, heat, and food right now, I’m grateful that our family is safe, warm, and fed.