Makin’ apple butter …

I went to a friend’s house today to make apple butter.  I’ve ordered it from her for the past four years but have never seen it made.  I learned a lot: it’s costly and time-consuming to make apple butter … and quite enjoyable.  The copper kettle, which holds 25 gallons of the rich, creamy, cinnamon-brown goodness, cost $375 in 1982!


It probably would be three times that now.  The stand to set it on, in 1982, was $100. 

The process of taking the apples from sauce to butter took approximately eight hours.  That does not include purchasing the 10-plus bushels of apples from the orchard; cleaning the apples; peeling, coring and slicing the apples; cooking the apples the day before in large kettles to soften them; storing the 35-plus gallons of cooked apples overnight and then transporting them to the apple-butter-making-spot.  I watched as individuals took turns stirring that pot for almost six hours.  It cannot be ignored for even two minutes or the butter sticks to the bottom of the pot and it’s ruined.  Everything.  Even the $375 (1982 prices!) kettle!!  You’d think after paying that kind of money for a kettle … it would at least be “non-stick”.  I know the purpose of the copper … and that copper is NOT “non-stick” but for $375 (1982 prices!) I want a kettle that I won’t have to worry if I need to think of something else in an eight-hour period other than stirring apple butter.  That’s why I’m not going to purchase a copper kettle.  I’d be very upset if anything stuck to the bottom and my $375 (1982 prices!) copper kettle ended up being a water bowl for the deer and stray dogs!  Luckily for everyone involved … I didn’t take a turn at stirring.  I ate a hot dog and kept the conversation going.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I absolutely love this post! I’ve made apple butter on the stove, but a copper pot is just too cool. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. Posted by Lesley Ann on November 3, 2008 at 9:34 am

    It was fun! I forgot to mention that they put a silver dollar in the bottom of the pot to help keep the butter from sticking.

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