There's a sense of self-satisfaction to making things yourself. Knowing that you accomplished something on your own is a real confidence builder and we could all use more of that.
When I had my first apartment I ran my own phone line into a room that was lacking one. I was so proud of what I'd done I called everyone I knew to squawk about my feat. You'd have thought I had found the Titanic, and raised it from the ocean floor using only my bare hands and a snorkel.
Making food from scratch that most people buy at the mega-mart has that same sense of ego enhancement. Around our house we make our own sauces: pasta, hot dog and stir fry. I have a friend who teases me about this practice, asking if I'm considering the move to an Amish lifestyle, and how often my butter churn is dragged out from the barn to be used. For the record, I have made my own butter (there was no churn in site unless you count my KitchenAid stand mixer) and it was nothing special. Tastes just like the supermarket stuff.
We occasionally make our own sandwich bread and bagels. And just as the homemade butter is nothing special, the bread is so perfect that it will make your heart soar. One of the great toppers for a large slice of that bread or one of the chewy bagels (my personal preference) is our own apple butter.
If you're wondering why you should make your own when buying it is so convenient, I have, in a surprise to no one who knows me, prepared a list.
- Preparing it in a slow cooker is almost as easy as pulling a jar of pre-made off of the supermarket shelf. Hell, you don't even have to peel the apples. Throw in the ingredients and walk away for a few hours.
- You control the flavor. The amount of spices and sugar is all up to you. All to be customized to your palate. I don't know about you, but I'm all about anything that is tailor-made for moi.
- I won't lie to you and tell you it's cheaper than buying it pre-made, but per ounce it's still pretty inexpensive.
- No artificial ingredients. Unless that's the kind of thing you enjoy.
- You're painfully lonely and can't eat an entire jar of apple butter before it spoils? It's freezable.
- You know exactly what's in the jar. Even if a hair ends up in the there, at least you know its YOUR hair.
ANNE’S SLOW COOKER APPLE BUTTER
3 LBS APPLES OF YOUR CHOICE
¼ C. SUGAR
¼ C. LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
½ TBS. VANILLA EXTRACT
½ TBS. CINNAMON
¼ TSP. GROUND NUTMEG
¼ TSP. SALT
1 TBS. CORNSTARCH
Core and chop apples (peel removal is optional). Add apples and all other ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 6 hours. Use immersion blender to puree the cooked mixture and smooth. Jar and refrigerate for up to 30 days. Makes approximately four cups of butter.
It's worth making just so you can text all your friends and brag about how great you are.