From Colonial Kettles to Modern Kitchens: The Timeless Tradition of Apple Butter Making

OilyEscapades Admin

Apple butter making has a rich history dating back to colonial America. It originated as a way to preserve excess apple harvests. Early settlers would cook down apples, often with added spices like cinnamon and cloves, in large copper kettles over an open flame. The slow cooking process, sometimes taking hours, would result in a thick and spreadable butter like consistency.

One of the reasons fall is my favorite time of year is not only the beautiful fall foliage, but our family tradition of making apple butter. Every fall our family would get together and make apple butter in a copper kettle over an open fire, just like the settlers did. It certainly was an all day affair! We started bright and early peeling and cutting apples to make applesauce. Then my Mom would prepare the bag of spices (a secret recipe she took to her grave). We would all take turns stirring the pot with a big wooden paddle until it was ready to be put into jars. Fresh apple butter is the best! I really miss those days! The picture of us is one of my favorites. You see Mom never and I mean never let us lick the spoons, whether we were cooking/baking in the kitchen or over an open fire. So my sisters and I staged licking our spoons in hopes she would catch us. And she did!! It was a perfect picture that day. It was hilariously funny and we still laugh about this picture. Absolutely love the memories our Mom created for us.

Over time, apple butter became a popular condiment and sweet spread in households. As technology advanced, cooking methods shifted from open flames to stovetops, and later to electric stoves. The process became more efficient, but the basic principles of slow-cooking and flavoring with spices remained consistent.

Today, apple butter making is often done using modern appliances like slow cookers or stovetops. Commercially, it's produced on a larger scale using industrial equipment. While its primary function as a preservation method has diminished due to modern refrigeration, apple butter remains a beloved treat enjoyed for its taste and historical significance.

Please join us in celebrating Apple Butter Festival in Kimmswick, Mo Saturday October  28 and 29 from 10a-5p both days! Oily Escapades will be there with a new apple butter soap!  Stop by and say hi! 

Until next time, leave your troubles in the bubbles!

       Oily Escapades

Read more →

It's Fall Y'all!!

OilyEscapades Admin

Fall is my favorite season of the year! There are so many activities and fun things to do during this season for families, couples, and even for singles. Autumn, often referred to as fall, is a season that captivates the senses with its enchanting display of colors, crisp air, and a sense of transition in nature. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures gradually drop, the world undergoes a magnificent transformation, inviting us to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of autumn in nature.

One of the most iconic features of autumn is the changing foliage of deciduous trees. The vibrant green leaves that adorned the trees throughout the spring and summer undergo a metamorphosis, turning into shades of fiery red, warm orange, and rich gold. This display of colors is a result of chemical processes within the leaves, as chlorophyll breaks down and other pigments become pronounced. The result is a picturesque landscape that seems to be painted by nature's own hand. I love driving through long, curvy roads to see the beautiful foliage in the fall. The majestic colors on display is a true sight to behold! 

The falling leaves not only create a stunning visual spectacle but also contribute to the earth's cycle of renewal. As the leaves blanket the ground, they decompose over time, releasing valuable nutrients back into the soil. This natural process enriches the ecosystem and prepares the earth for future growth, making autumn the season of both beauty and significance in the natural world. And who doesn't love jumping into a pile of leaves!

Autumn is also a time of transition for wildlife. Many species begin to prepare for the colder months ahead by migrating to warmer climates or adapting their behavior to suit the changing conditions. Animals like squirrels and birds gather and store food to sustain them through the winter, while others, such as bears, enter a period of hibernation to conserve energy.

The air in the autumn carries a distinct crispness, and there's a unique quality to the sunlight that casts a warm and golden hue upon the landscape. This combination of cool air and soft sunlight creates the ideal atmosphere for outdoor activities like, hiking, apple picking, bonfires, and hayrides. Of course, there are a lot of other outdoor activities to enjoy, such as, picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, cider tasting, making your way through corn mazes and haunted houses, camping, and I mentioned...lots to do in the fall months! The aroma of fallen leaves and the taste of freshly harvested apples evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort, making autumn a time of cherished traditions and simple pleasures. 

As we embrace autumn in nature, we are reminded of the impermanence of life and the cyclical nature of the seasons. The changing leaves serves as a reminder that change is a natural part of existence, and that even as we witness the beauty of transformation, we can find inspiration in the way nature gracefully navigates its own transitions.

Autumn in nature, like soap making, is a symphony of colors, scents and experiences that stir the senses and connect us to the rhythm of the natural world. It is a time of reflection, appreciation, and renewal, offering us the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of change and find solace in the embrace of changing seasons.

Enjoy this fall, y'all! Until next time, leave your troubles in the bubbles!

                         Oily Escapades

Read more →