One of my favorite people in this world. He has been profoundly influential on my life. He taught me to fish, how to identify trees and birds, how to call up a turkey, and how to chew on a sassafras stick for good luck.
He was at every ballgame I ever had, and most of the practices. He happily dragged my sisters and I up and down, up and down, and up and down their steep hill on snow days just so we could sled one more time. We have spent hours out in the forest listening for wild turkeys, picking up rocks, and watching for deer.
He encouraged me and loved me even when I was stubbornly difficult.
So much of my childhood revolved around him and my Granny. My love for them is beyond fierce and I miss them so much that at times, my chest physically hurts.
On this Veteran's Day, I thank him for his service to our country. He was drafted and for the first time in his life, he left the hills of the Ozarks.
I couldn't be prouder to be his granddaughter.
Today's recipes are in honor of him. The man loves apples - apple pie, fried apples, and apple butter. And my Granny's homemade biscuits. Therefore, I decided to make homemade apple butter with homemade biscuits.
Crockpot Apple Butter
Please note that there are two parts to this recipe: The first 8-10 hours break the apples down to a reduction of about half, then the spices are added and the apples are cooked on low for another 8 hours so that the flavors can really develop.
Ingredients: Part I
15 apples (I used a mix of organic Granny Smith and Red Delicious)
1 cup apple cider
Directions: Part I
1. Peel, core, and thinly slice all apples
2. Place apples into a crockpot and add the apple cider; stir
3. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour; reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours
Ingredients: Part II
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar*
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*I do not like overly-sweet things, so I only used a little over a cup of sugar
Directions: Part II
1. Stir reduced apples
2. Add spices and stir thoroughly
3. Cook on LOW for another 8 hours
4. Apples should be completely broken down and the color should be much darker. Let the apple butter cool and store in an airtight container. Will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks...but, I'll be surprised if it lasts that long!
"Somewhat Healthier" Homemade Biscuits
I replaced regular flour with organic spelt flour to increase the nutritional factor of these biscuits. But, let's be real here - these suckers still have a stick of butter in them.
"Healthier" is a relative term.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups spelt flour (I like One Degree Organic's spelt flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Cut butter into small pieces and then place in freezer for 15 minutes.
2. Sift the flour twice.
3. Mix the dry ingredients together.
4. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
5. Stir in the milk with a fork until dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 to 4 turns. Cut biscuits using a 3-inch cutter or the top of a drinking glass.
6. Place biscuit dough 2 inches apart in a greased baking pan.
7. Bake the biscuits for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
8. Remove pan from oven and carefully remove biscuits. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy them warm, slathered with the goodness of your crockpot apple butter and just have a moment of happy.
Happy Veteran's Day! My sincerest thanks to all those who have served and the loved ones who support them.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann