I have such beautiful memories of my Nana and Pop Pop harvesting, freezing, and canning from their immense gardens. They prepared enough vegetables for themselves and their three daughter's families for the whole year, every year, for like 20 years. I didn't even now vegetables came in cans until I got to college!
A few years ago after my Nana passed away, I asked my Pop to send me some of the favorite recipes he had and specifically some of my Nana's amazing Christmas Cookie recipes so I could save them. He never did find the cookie recipes, someone else swiped those LOL, but he did send me one of my very favorites, apple butter. (Luckily I have some connectiuons and my mom and aunts make all of her Christmas cookies now:)
I tweaked the apple butter recipe a bit because I was not cooking for an army, couldn't find sassafrass root (okay-I didn't look THAT hard), and I wanted to use my essential oils to get even deeper spicy flavors. I love how it turned out and seriously my house smelled like a dream for two days!
My Pop always had a slice of white bread with apple butter on it after dinner as his dessert each evening. I loved it on toast and do not why I have not made it before. My kids have been missing out BIG TIME!
- 15 Large Apples
- 3 Quarts Apple Cider
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 8 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
- 4 Drops Nutmeg Essential Oil
- Peel, core, and chop apples
- Bring cider to a boil in a large stock pot and stir in sugar to dissolve.
- Add apples and essential oils and boil for 6-8 hours on low until brown, bubbly, and thick. It will thicken even more as it cools.
I miss those two fabulous grandparents more than anything, but I love passing on these special memories and recipes to my own family and reliving those precious times.