Barefeet and Butter Knives (Molly Wizenberg Inspired Apple Butter)

This story ends with me padding barefoot and pajama-clad across the kitchen floor, sneaking into the fridge, stealthily unsnapping a tupperware and eating the contents off a butter knife until my roommate glares at me.

This story starts here, in R~’s cargo pants, a handmedown sweater tossed on the grass and a hippie’s bag from Guatemala.

Apple picking.

And really, it starts two hours before that, when a group of friends and I managed to escape from New York City (which involved dashing deeds of derring-do, a superhero-rental-car, and some amazing driving skills on my part.)  Somehow, even with our city-confused minds, we managed to find our way to an apple orchard. The city in fall is wonderful, with crisp air smelling cleaner than it has since February, pretty girls in elegant scarves and tall boots parading the streets, the new Broadway season lighting up weeknights and weekend days and the promise of ice skating to come in Central Park. But I’m a country girl at heart (see here) and some u-pick apples sounded like just the thing to break up the mild depression of working in the ICU.

I climbed trees I wasn’t supposed to climb and wandered through fields and laughed at small children and then was labelled “The Walking Farmer’s Market” because I knew what variety of pumpkins were good for baking and how to make pie crust from scratch. It was halfway between warm and cold and a little bit breezy and there were apples everywhere.

So many apples.

In Washington, there is a lot of u-picking, and a lot of scavenging. Blackberries line the running trail, huckleberries hug the mountainside, the strawberry plot is down the valley and the blueberry farm is tucked against the mountain (you can also u-pick vegetables, but the closest place for that, besides our garden, is ten miles away, so I’m not mentioning it.) All of those things take a bit of time to collect – maybe you make an afternoon of it as you sort through the berries you want and eat the ones that don’t make the cut. Apple picking is surprisingly fast, especially when the trees are trained to the ground and the fruit all looks like this.


So our bags were loaded in not much time and we stood around in between the trees and laughed some more. We decided to see who could eat the biggest apple and debated what to cook for dinner and took photos and talked about cloud shapes and the boys talked about video games. Then someone decided that apple cider spiced with rum was calling his name and we began to trek back, past the abandoned shed in the pasture that knew exactly where we were going, because it watched people walking past it all day long.

At the apple orchard.

We drove off to a beautiful house with a full kitchen and made apple pie and bird’s nest pudding and drank rum laced cider (except for me, as I was driving the superhero-rental-car aka a minivan) and you will hear about that experience later.

And eventually we had to leave. I was a little bit sad because, as R~ points out, again, I am a country girl at heart. (See here if you’ve forgotten in the last two minutes.)

So I came home, and I chopped up some apples and threw them in my crockpot with a splash of water and a shake of cinnamon and a dash of cloves and a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice and let them cook down for eight hours until they were thick and silky and almost stiff enough to sculpt with and then I smashed the whole mess through a sieve and into a tupperware, and that, my friends, is how we get to the end of this story, with my barefeet and butterknife ways.

Molly Wizenberg Inspired Apple Butter

Inspired by Orangette.

Every Friday, a group of women writers is blogging their way through 50 Women Game-Changers of Food – find more information here. Here’s who’s joining this week.

Mary of One Perfect Bite | Joanne of Eats Well With Others | Val of More Than Burnt Toast | Susan of The Spice Garden | Heather of girlichef | Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney | Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living | Kathleen of Bakeaway with Me | Sue of The View from the Great Island | Linda of There and Back Again | Kathleen of Gonna Want Seconds | Barbara of Moveable Feasts | Amy of Beloved Green | Linda of Ciao Chow Linda | Deborah of Taste and Tell | Barbara of Lines from Linderhof | Nancy of My Picadillo

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6 Responses to Barefeet and Butter Knives (Molly Wizenberg Inspired Apple Butter)

  1. girlichef says:

    Now that sounds like a happy day…and lots of happy pictures. Love it!

  2. Jeanette says:

    What a nice way to enjoy a day in the country, a nice escape from the city – love the rosy color of your apple butter.

  3. Mary says:

    It sounds like a wonderful day. I'm so glad you shared it with us. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  4. Barbara says:

    What fun! I'm so jealous. I remember back in Michigan those smells of fresh apple cider (and donuts, of course) and we even had some apple trees in our yard at one house.What a great day you had!

  5. Miranda says:

    Love you pictures. I so want to go apple picking before the season is over, but it is quite a drive for us so I doubt we will make it. I love apple butter, and when I made it at the end of August, I too was in there at random times with a spoon.

  6. That's gorgeous apple butter, I want some on a bagel right now!

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