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Picture of the day - September 12, 2006

Mom Making A Kettle Of Apple Butter

Making apple butter at moms.
Click photo to enlarge

When I was growing up, one of my least favorite tasks was helping make apple butter. It seemed like it took forever, and it did indeed take the better part of an entire day - usually on a beautiful fall day that God must surely have provided for the sole purpose of running around and playing in the woods. But there I was, helping make apple butter while the precious daylight hours wasted away!

Yes, in the opinion of most any little boy, a day spent making apple butter is a day thoroughly wasted. First, you have to peel, cut up and wash about a million apples. Then you have to gather a mountain of firewood and keep the flame burning nice and hot for hours on end...all the while stirring the smoldering apple butter non-stop until you're old enough to begin sprouting facial hair. Of course about every six minutes throughout the day I would annoy mom just a little bit more by asking her if the apple butter was "almost done"...

And finally, after having asked for about the 10,000th time, she would say the two most beautiful words in the English language: "just about". Shortly after that she would break out the "cans" and start filling them up with the precious concoction that we had just spent such a large portion of our lifetimes making. Finally, after all the pint and quart jars were filled, an amazing thing would happen: mom would give several jars of it away! I remember thinking "What are you doing, mom? After all we went through to make that stuff you're gonna hand it out for free?"

But that was mom, always being generous and sharing with others regardless of how hard she had to work to get something. And she's still the same way today. Reflecting back on those years, I now understand why mom did so much work for what seemed to me to be such a small "payout" - she had to. She had a large family to feed and little extra money with which to do it, and we kids had to do our part to help put food on the table. And now that I think about it, those were some of the best times of my life.

This picture was taken on October 26, 2002 as mom and several members of her family spent a cool, cloudy day making a huge kettle of apple butter. And as always, it tasted great!

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