Who’s your friend?

My espaliered apple trees put out a good crop this year, and I made some apple butter.  This tangy spread is fabulous on toast, pancakes, or whatever amuses you.  My recipe is a slight variation on the one from the 1975 Joy of Cooking.  As the 1997 edition has no recipe for apple butter at all, I post this without compunction.

Apple Butter

4 pounds apples, washed, quartered, and cored

Cook slowly in a heavy pot until soft in 2 cups of apple cider vinegar — you can use water or apple juice also.

Run resulting pulpy goo through the food processor in 3 or 4 batches, processing until reasonably smooth.  Measure apple puree and return to pot.  For each cup of puree, add 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Mix in 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. cloves, 1/4 t. allspice, also the grated peel and juice of one lemon if you have one on hand. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture sheets from a spoon.  Or, place a blob on a plate – if there is no liquid surrounding the apple butter, then it is done.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars.  Lable and enjoy!

The recipe gives a yield of 6 pints — I came out with 5 12-ounce jars this time, but it is quite thick.

The Gerbera daisy is from a pot on my back deck.  They are not really considered to be perennials here, but somehow this plant has survived two winters in a not particularly sheltered location.  The table runner is a piece I wove a few years back. My weaving guild (and boy, do I need to update that webpage!) had a lunchbag exchange, and the person I was making one for requested “something colorful.” I figured a rainbow would do the trick, and of course one always puts on an extra yard of warp to have something leftover to keep, right? The draft is taken from a project in Handwoven Magazine, a 4-harness twill that emulates the look of cardweaving.