Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple Butter time........

It's that time of year in the mountains..... time for making apple butter. On any given Friday or Saturday, you can drive the backroads of Appalachia and stumble upon families, churches, and community groups gathered around huge kettles, sitting in lawn chairs, tables piled with home-made food cooked by the womenfolk to sustain the workers through the 24 hour process.

This weekend, it was our turn for stirring the big pots at Sir Laughsalot's little, rural school. It was a perfect fall day for the venture.... cool breezes and blue skies.

Selling apple butter is our school's big fall fundraiser along with an ice-cream social in the spring. We feel extremely blessed to live in an area where the small, community schools have been able to remain open due to community and parental involvement. I am a strong believer in small class sizes and parental involvement.... there are only 13 children in the whole Kindergarten class at this school, which ensures a lot of individual attention and more time and energy for creative teaching.

For this particualr venture, we worked in shifts, parents and kids. It was a great opportunity to meet other parents and the kids enjoyed helping out.
When their arms got tired, they played
on the school playground or climbed the woodpile...

I cherished the morning.... the sense of community, coming together to support our kids and school.... the smell of woodsmoke and apples... kids helping and learning to work together.... stirring a huge kettle full of apple butter, outdoors, surrounded by the beautiful, fall-hued mountains......

Our mountain ancestors might have been doing the very same thing on a similar weekend, over a hundred years ago.

Connection, Community, Family, Simplicity......

Life is good!

17 comments:

brandy said...

Sounds just wonderful! We have a school like that near us--the Whitetop Mountain School. The classes are super small and the children learn to play bluegrass in the school band. Makes me want to move there so our children could go there some day. :-)

photowannabe said...

I know we are not suppose to be envious or covet our neighbors things, but man I am envious of your small town activities and that yummy apple butter. What a joy to be together as a group and do something fun and profitable for the school and the community.
You made me smile with your remark about my "fun guy."
Thanks for your comment.

Anil P said...

Makes life worth living for, doesn't it? :)

John Roberts said...

We're big fans of apple butter at our house, and home-made beats store-bought any day!

Moi said...

you have such a charmed life, Blue...cherish it :)

June said...

What a wonderful tradition! I've not seen this happening around Floyd or I would have surely noticed. And yes, it is the sort of time that makes you count the blessings of your life...

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

All those years in the mountains and I don't think I ever once saw apple butter being made outside of the kitchen - very cool indeed!

Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us.

Thanks also for you comments - I wondered if what I was writing would make sense - I felt much better after reading your response!

Susan said...

I have not seen this before, either! Thanks for your colorful description and pictures of the day and the process, I feel like I was there with you.

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Hey dear mountain mama,

I hope you don't mind but me doing this, I tagged your blog, so more people will visit you than also (i Hope)You have a very great blog so therefore I tagged you!

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs

So Good luck !!:)
With greetings from JoAnn

Beth said...

Oh my, this is so lovely! And you are so blessed to live in such a place. I loved your pictures and your description--I could almost smell that apple butter cooking.
(Oh, and to answer your question in my comments about our hikes--one is called the Green Knob Trail, which is accessed at the BRP milepost 295.9. The other was the Rich Mountain Trail accessed at BRP milepost 294. Sorry to take so long to answer your question!)

Joel and Jaime said...

Looks fun--and very yummy! I'm glad you found such a nice little school for Sir Laughsalot. Your town looks very community-oriented.

Kalyan said...

Nice reading about this wonderful thing of yours & the way you have arranged it in shifts and everyone participating in it....& the shots are also very nice!

L.L. Barkat said...

13 kids. Wow. Yes, this is good. And so, of course, is the apple butter!

kirsten said...

I want to be where you are!! Small town, apple butter, small classes, community traditions, and sitting with the "womenfolk" stirring the pot & maybe a wee bit of innocent trouble ... ;o)

backpakker said...

thats a life i would love to live..like you said, simplicity and community ...a great feeling !

JAM said...

I love the photos showing the work and the kids. Spiced apple butter is one of life's great flavors. Homemade biscuits, butter, and apple butter. Yum.

worldwide1 said...

What a wonderful glimpse into a small town and the people and activities there.
thanks so much.