I grew up with a mom who was a domestic goddess. She could sew anything, including most of the things we wore. We rarely (rarely!) went out to eat- there was always a home-cooked meal on the table. And we had a huge garden- half the size of our back yard. There were six of us, and we joked frequently about being slave labor when we were sent out to pick the peas, beans, tomatoes, (just for the record, you get in really big trouble when you get in a tomato fight with your siblings when you're supposed to be picking them!) and whatever else was ripe at the time. We had cherry pitting parties, movie nights shelling endless bags of peas, and nights on the deck covered in splatters of tomatoes as we ground them for spaghetti sauce.
Now that I'm a mom and trying to live more frugally and eat more healthy, I'm really wishing I would have paid more attention to the massive amounts of canning that my mom did every summer. In a fit of domesticity, I decided that all the apples we picked last week needed to be turned into apple butter. After a few calls to my friend Jules who gave me the recipe, and to my mom the canning guru, and 24 hours with the apples in the crockpot, I ended up with this:
7 very pretty, very yummy jars of apple butter. It tastes like apple pie on toast. And they all sealed! Its not much, but combined with the 24 jars of freezer jam we did a few weeks ago, and we're going to have lots of yummy toast this year, if nothing else!