WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 4
Here is the last of our installment of WPA writer Grant Jennings Smith’s account of an apple harvest tradition from northern Virginia. Early in the morning smoke from countless hot fires hang in pungent clouds. Pots are filled with sweet cider and brought to a boil, then the apples are dropped in and tell the kettles are full. After hours of continuous staring, during which more apples have been added to keep the pot full to a certain level, sugar, cinnamon, and other spices are stared into the rich bubbling butter. The fall usually finds the butter being removed from the fires, and now rusty brown liquid permeating the air with its spicy aroma. It is dipped into stone crocks and jars and set aside to cool before being stored in pantries and cupboards. Cold weather usually finds the Valley farmer with many gallons of apple butter stored away for use during the long winter months. (Grant Jennings Smith)
Takeaway: It just so happened that this morning I received an invite to a neighborhood brunch on Sunday. The facilitator of the event has made it easy and I want to share the strategy that you can use to organize a similar neighborhood event such as the one in this series. One of the neighbors created a spreadsheet with a place to put your name and the dish that you'll bring to the brunch. They sent it through a neighborhood email lists which by the way was set up at last year's first annual neighborhood event. The link arrived in my wife's email weeks ago, she shared it with me, we signed up, and we will be at the brunch on Sunday. It's just that easy folks. So with no more excuses what are you gonna do in your neighborhood to build solidarity? Don't let a natural disaster be the event that brings you never together. Get to know each other now and prepare in advance for the solidarity that you're going to need during tough times.