The guys have got the art of building the fire and setting up the kettle down so well that I no longer have to be involved in that step. Actually, I think they have the whole process down pat! I made breakfast of sausage gravy and eggs for the crew; some were here overnight, others came at various times during the morning.
We had such a good time. I had made and frozen the apple sauce in advance so that step would be done when we all finally agreed on a date to cook it down. One son brought the jars, and the other brought the sugar.
Everyone brought their appetites for sure! There is nothing like being out in the chilly air to bring on the hungries. After the sauce was cooking well, I went back inside to make lunch: corn and cheese chowder, cornbread, and sandwich makings, all laid out buffet style so everyone could help themselves. There were cookies too, from last week's gathering with my sisters, and plenty of coffee and tea.
We ended up with 63 pints, I think. Larry and I won't need much this year as we still have plenty from last year's batch. But this morning I opened a pint and spread the rich brown butter on my toast. Delicious! A taste that calls back all the many years we have made apple butter together. I am eternally grateful to my neighbor Belva Simons for teaching me how to do this. Belva is gone, but her gift continues to give.
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