First, I feel like I need to apologize to you all for my lack of internet presence lately (or maybe just to myself) I am not sure, but this post is bound to make me feel better. Between Hurricane Matthew, the clean up, playing mom and working there has hardly been any time for me to sit down...or anything else for that matter.
In light of Matthew, it has made me reflect on all the blessings in my life and reconfirmed the sense of community in the OBX. We all know the risks of living on the Outer Banks, especially business owners. We try to anticipate everything - plan for the worst and hope for the best. But in this case, none of us were expecting what Hurricane Matthew brought. Many of us thought we had dodged a bullet, but that is far from the truth. Now, I know weather forecasters cannot see into the future blah blah blah, but it would have been fantastic if they could have warned us islanders a bit better....right?
Over the past week I have been overwhelmed by all the compassion our little island holds. Our community got turned upside down by Matthew and the first thing our citizens began doing was helping others. Barrier Island Bagels was open through it all as we never lost power. We had folks driving all the way from Nags Head to come get coffee! Josh and I at one point felt trapped because we desperately wanted to get out there and help others, but we finally realized that we were helping in our own kind of way. We were keeping people fed (and caffeinated). One thing we saw a lot of was folks buying food for the neighbors who could not get out of their house, business owners who had flooding and also for the utility workers. No gesture during this time is too small - a full belly can make any frown turn upside down :)
Now that the craziness has died down a little for us in the northern part of the Outer Banks, I finally decided to try out a new recipe for apple butter. With it being apple season (the best season of the year) all I have been able to think about is baked apples and apple butter. And folks, let me tell you that it is delicious!!! And the best part - it only has TWO ingredients! Go ahead...rejoice ingredient checkers!!
So my very first recipe that I am going to share on Life Of A Bagel Wife is Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter.
1. Enough apples to fill your crock
2. 2-3 tsp Cinnamon or add to your tasting
You will Need:
5 quart crockpot, blender and storage jars.
To fill my crockpot I chose a mixture of Fuji and McIntosh apples. It really doesn't matter what you choose, its your preference! I started by washing all of apples because when making apple butter you leave the skin on to preserve the nutrients so you need to make sure they are clean AND dry before you put into the crockpot. Then I cut them into small chunks taking out the seeds at the same time - this process doesn't have to be exact because you are going to cook them so soft it won't matter in the end. Finally, you put all apples into your crockpot, turn on high, cover and set the timer for four hours. You will need to give them a good stir every hour.
After 4 hours your apples should look small, squishy and goopy. I know that doesn't sound appetizing, but it makes it better for your blender!
Take all apples from the crockpot and put into your blender. Hint - do half at a time to avoid hot apple mess from spraying all over your kitchen.... Blend until smooth and creamy. Wash your crockpot so it is nice and clean and then return the apple mixture back to the crockpot. Add your cinnamon, stir and cook for one more hour on low or until you reach the thick texture you like.
Let the apple butter cool completely before you seal it in your jars :)