Making Apple Butter, Writing Books

by | Sep 8, 2019

I picked up 50 pounds of ‘imperfect’ organic, heirloom apples five days ago. 

Since then, I’ve been sitting at my writing desk less and standing in my kitchen more. A lot more. Making apple butter (Pennsylvania Dutch-style) entails peeling, coring, slicing and cooking the apples. Then you have to add brown sugar and spices and slow-roast the mixture in the oven. For HOURS.

The end product is so worth it.

Being in my kitchen, putting food by, is a joy this time of year. I feel so connected to my mom and my grandmothers. I can taste Grandma’s sauerkraut, and Bread ‘n’ Butter pickles. I can taste the Anadama bread I baked, and the strawberry jam I cooked, while my mom and her friends would process wheelbarrow-loads of zucchinis and tomatoes and green beans.

Simple kitchen tasks–like peeling fruit and minding the cookpot–remind me of the writing process while simultaneously giving me a break from the writing process. The latest book is with my editor and two more books are percolating in the back of my head. I’m surrounded by packing boxes and good smells. The day’s biggest decision is what to do with the 20 pounds of apples that are left.



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