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Making Apple Butter in NC, Oct 06

Dee's family has a tradition of making apple butter. Her grandparents made it in the mountains of NC out of necessity. Today the family continues the tradition because they enjoy the taste of homemade apple butter. It is a two day process, one day to peel the apples, and one day to cook them into the apple butter. This page shows the cooking process. Click on an image to see an enlarged picture in a slide show.

Most of he crew are present in this picture. From right to left, sitting, Dee's cousin Richard, standing, Dee's dad Lee, standing, Dee's uncle Edwin, sitting, partially hidden, Richard's wife Sue, sitting, Sue's friend Lois and standing, stirring the pot, Dee's uncle Joe.
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Dee's Aunt Jean stirring the pot while Lois and Richard look on. The stir stick was handmade by Edwin.
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A good head of steam coming off the pot. The pot is made of brass and was originally owned by Joe's wife's grandmother.
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The pot of apple butter with several hours of cooking to go. It must be stirred constantly to keep it from burning on the bottom or sides. Burned apple butter would ruin the flavor.
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Richard sitting and waiting his shift on the stir stick while Edwin stirs the pot. The brew in the pot is thick and it is tiring on the shoulders to stir for too long.
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Lee, Jean, and Richard watch while Edwin continues to stir the pot
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Joe scraping the sides of the pot while Dee stirs.
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Edwin adjusting the fire. The fire initially has to get the mixture up to a slow boil and then just enough fire is maintained to keep it slowly bubbling.
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Lois, Sue and Jean patiently waiting. They will be helping to put the apple butter into jars when it is done.
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The apple butter has been cooking for about 5 hours now.
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The pot of Apple Butter is almost done. Red Hots have been added to give it some color and flavor. This pot started with 3.5 bushels of stamen apples peeled and cut up. Now it has about 7 gallons of apple butter in it. Twelve pounds of sugar and some liquid cinnamon extract were also added.
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Movies of stirring the pot.
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Copyright 2006 by Louis Batayte

This page created on a Macintosh using PhotoPage by John A. Vink.