It has been an extremely demanding weekend/week. I had planned to post this on Saturday, but I ended up spending the entire day baking for a Traffic Jam bake sale. It was quite the experience as I still haven't found a replacement for my teflon pans. I got a tip from a friend about using the silver cupcake liners by themselves which was awesome- but then I didn't have my debit card so I couldn't buy them (long story). I ended up baking them just a few at a time in ramekins (it worked!) but it took all day. Then Sunday was an entire Sargent Avenue day, the guys headlined Traffic Jam Fest in Rosa Park, Grand Rapids for Art Prize and Katie, Kathy and I ran the bake sale. We got home around 1:30 am and poor John had to leave again just after 5 am this morning. Today was a mix of beginnings and endings... I started my new job and my niece learned to crawl, but a friend of John's, who he really admired and esteemed, passed away. What a wonderful woman she was. I've never heard anyone speak a word against her, but the loving stories have been innumerable. She left such an impression on her city, and her absence is already felt. Many thoughts and prayers go out to her family, from all who knew her. And as a stranger remarked to John today, "you can't live in Lowell and not know Chris West".
The pumpkin apple butter was so easy- it was really similar to my previous post about homemade applesauce.
3 lbs of baking apples
1 can (15 oz) of pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger, etc.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. water (or cider/apple juice)
Pumpkin apple butter was made for toast and biscuits, but try it on a toasted turkey sandwich (with brie!), mixed into oatmeal or cottage cheese or many other various ways. It will not disappoint you.
Enjoy! Remember to hug your loved ones today. Every day we get to spend with the people closest to us is such a blessing.