I love Fall! Cooler temperatures, picking apples, gorgeous tree colors and pumpkins. 2019 has been a busy year for me. I’m almost finished with the revisions on Plain and Fancy and I hope to send it to my editor soon. If you’re looking for new authors, The Wild Rose Press has released a sampler of western authors called Beneath a Prairie Sky. A chapter of my book, Montana Home, is included.
Looking for a bargain? Montana Home is on sale on Amazon, Nook, and iTunes for 99 cents from October 25 to November 22, 2019!
Several years ago, I wrote a story about when we made apple butter at my grandparent’s house on the farm and I’m including it in my newsletter. Good memories from times gone by. I’m also including a recipe for Apple Streusel Bars from Taste of Home magazine. Delicious!
Bushels of Apples
When I was a young girl, every fall the family would travel to my grandparent’s farm on the other side of town to pick apples. My father was one of eleven children, so there were plenty of aunts, uncles, and cousins. The day would start with a hay rack ride to the orchard. The men would be on ladders and the children below would gather the apples that had fallen to the ground. Adults kept a sharp eye on the antics of the little ones, and make sure we didn’t eat too many apples. In the old farmhouse, my mom and aunts would be peeling the apples that would be made into apple butter over the open fire. Grandma had a huge wooden table, so there was plenty of room for everyone to sit. She would preside over the work being done in her kitchen. Talk would center on child rearing and neighborhood gossip. Bushels and bushels of apples were peeled and taken to the big iron pot that was set up in the barnyard. Under the watchful eye of Grandpa, wood was gathered and the fire started. It was an all-day process. As the day wore on, the children would tire from running around and would soon fall asleep in their mother’s arms. I never knew my grandma’s recipe, but I remember her homemade bread, warm from the oven. We would slather it with the butter and warm apple butter. Each bite was pure heaven. Today, when we want apple butter, we go to the store or local orchard and put it on our store bought bread. With all the modern conveniences, the days of making apple butter over an open fire are just a memory. The whole barnyard smelled of the delicious scent of apples and cinnamon as they cooked in the iron kettle. Also gone, is the closeness of family who lived within a few miles of each other. The brisk fall air settles around the farm, and I remember my aunts, uncles, and cousins gathering under the stars and moon light around the fire. Everyone was anxious for the first taste of apple butter on grandma’s homemade bread. Such precious memories of a time gone past.
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon 2% milk
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, cracker crumbs, oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar and sugar. Stir in butter. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of a greased 13×9-in. pan. Bake until set, 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- 2. Mix apples, spices and remaining brown sugar. Spread over crust; sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake until apples are tender, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- 3. Mix confectioners’ sugar and milk; drizzle over top. Cut into bars.