A delayed apple harvest postponed the start of Mount Tabor Ruritan Club’s apple butter making, but it is now underway.
The club cooked a big batch on Oct. 6, and two more are scheduled for Oct. 13 and 27 at the cannery in Wytheville. Each of these Friday events begins around 7 a.m. with cooking the cut apples to make apple sauce, which is then run through strainers to remove the skins and seeds. The sauce is returned to the cookers and sugar is added. The mix is cooked through the early afternoon until it is deemed to be the correct consistency. Before it is poured into pint and quart jars, spices are stirred in. The greatest demand is for cinnamon, but about a quarter of the jars are flavored with both cinnamon and clove. The cannery is cleaned, and a bunch of tired volunteers leave for Blacksburg by around 4 p.m. After the third making is completed, about 90 bushels of apples will have been converted into a little over 300 gallons of delicious apple butter.
The jars may be bought from club members and will also be available at Blacksburg TrueValue Hardware in First and Main, and Easy Way Packaging Center on North Main Street. Club members plan to sell outside the Gables Kroger on Oct. 21 and will have tasting samples there.
This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to volunteer and help the Ruritan club fund its scholarships and many other community-service projects. Extra help is appreciated when the apples are cut and washed at the fish fry picnic shelter. This begins when the apples arrive from the orchard at around 1 p.m. on the Thursdays preceding the Friday events (Oct. 12 and 26) and takes around two hours. Help at the cannery is most needed in the early morning and the early afternoon. The club provides a breakfast sandwich and lunch. For more information on volunteering, either drop by one of the Thursday cutting sessions, or email Curtis Cox at email@example.com.
Submitted by the Mt. Tabor Ruritan Club