Written By: Kaiti George @ Nebraska Beef Council
I’m different…yikes, that’s probably a loaded statement! What I mean to say is, I’m different than the average Generation Y female. I have been blessed with the talent and knack of cooking and baking. I’m not bragging, please don’t get me wrong! I just love to cook and experiment in the kitchen and have had very few failed attempts at a meal or dish. That is… until this weekend!!!
Let me tell you all a little story. I got the itch this weekend to can some of my produce that has been plentifully growing in my garden. Canning is a relatively new project for me, as I have only tackled this task three times. I decided that due to an over-abundance of apples, I was going to experiment and make Apple Butter. Wait!!…Maybe I should reverse and mention, my apple butter turned out perfectly! However, the process was a bit of a cluster.
I called my sister in for help. She arrived at my house bright and early on Saturday morning and the process began. You see, to make Apple Butter, you need to peel and core all of the apples. So there we were, she was peeling the apples and I was coring. It was quite the tedious process, but I knew in the end, we wouldn’t be disappointed. About an hour later, the apples were peeled, cored and cubed. Relieved that this daunting task was completed, I sent the cores and the apple peels that partially filled the sink down the garbage disposal. Done!
We were set and ready to season the apples and start cooking them all day. I’m never too much of a recipe follower, I’m a ‘little of this, and a little of that’ type cook. I semi-followed a Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe (below) and soon had three crock-pots full of apples to slowly cook all day. The apples should cook on low for about 12 hours. Twelve hours later, my house smelled DELISH!
I sent my sister down stairs to fetch some canning supplies as we would soon be ready to blend and can our apple butter. She quickly came upstairs and said ‘Ummm…we might need to abort for the evening. We have a problem down stairs.’ My husband, my sister and I went to the basement and I saw a small river flowing through my laundry room. It was instant. I knew exactly what had happened. The apple peels…yep; they had clogged the drainage system. Oopsy…….
My husband waded through the water and looked at the drain. I knew the problem was bigger than us, so I called my dad. My dad is so handy. He can fix nearly everything. I confessed to him about the apple peels and he knew this was the culprit. My husband and my dad worked on the drain for over an hour. Man…at this point, I felt awful. Getting nowhere, we again realized the problem was bigger than us. So we had to call the professionals. THANK GOD my dad, as a contractor, has many connections in this town. Because needless to say, it was 9 pm on a Saturday night. After about another hour of professional services, my basement was dry again and water was flowing through my pipes easily.
So the moral of this story…Do not send apple peels and cores down your garbage disposal! We all were laughing in the end, mainly because, I had just made some REALLY expensive apple butter! Enjoy the recipe below. I know I sure will! 🙂
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
6 pounds of medium apples (I used a combination of red delicious and gala apples)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
3-4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
A couple shakes of salt
Peel, core and slice apples into cubes. Put them in a crockpot with all of the other ingredients and cook on low for 8-12 hours. Stir occasionally. Once apples are very tender, place the apples in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Cool and pour into jars or an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Because I tripled this recipe for canning purposes, I sealed these jars using the hot water bath method for 15 minutes. ( For directions on hot water bath canning, click here).