Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Five Year Old Wanted To Pray

I just love our Ladies (Sister of the Vine) prayer meetings. We are joined by kids !  little ones, home-schooled ones, and even Older ones on "no school" days. 

*We love kids.   

The most precious thing happened yesterday at our bi-weekly meeting. One of the little kids (5) wanted to join us when we got ready to pray for the requests that had been made. I think she really just wanted some cuddle time with mom, but she wanted to join us, And she wanted to pray too. 

We told her the signal for when it was her turn. The praying began. Now I've been teaching young children and 1-6th grade kids for years. Most of those prayers are for good days at school, tests, puppies, little brothers, new bikes, etc. There have also been a few very serious requests made too.

 I wasn't really sure where our young prayer warrior was going to fall in that group. I fully expected to hear a prayer for a puppy or for the older sister to share a treasured toy, or older brother to play nice.. but what came out of that little girls mouth was nothing but Pure Praise . 

She spent about 2 minutes thanking God and Jesus for being beautiful, for loving us, for being wonderful and kind, and being the best at everything. her little heart poured out praise.. 

Well I can tell you that it moved not only my heart but made tears well up. 
It reminded me that I've been spending way to much time focusing on what I want God to do for me and not so much for just thanking Him for who He is Beautiful, Wonderful, Kind, and loving. 

She thanked God for Jesus. Wow.. what a prayer. Thank you little one for reminding your fellow prayer warriors to not only make requests but to take time and just thank God and Jesus for who they are. Thank you for Praising Them in the midst of our requests.. I love you little one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple Butter In The Crockpot

I had a friend ask for my Apple Butter recipe so here it is. 

I love this easy recipe. You can't mess it up. You'll be tossing all your ingredients in a crockpot. 

Dig out your crockpot.  I have a 6qt. oval one, but any kind will do. 

Apples: peel, core, and run through a meat grinder. (I have seen youtube videos that show people just chopping them up so either way will work.) * chopping may mean the apples will have to cook longer. Fill your crockpot almost to the top with chopped apples. then add all the other ingredients mixing well after each addition. 

add 1/2-1 cup of apple cider
add about 4 cups of sugar * I use about 1/2 that amount for my husband whose diabetic. You can use all white sugar, or a mixture of white and brown sugar to fit your taste. 

2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon 
A sprinkle of Nutmeg and cloves. * this is where your personal taste comes in. remember you can always add more, but you can't take it away. taste as you go. 

Mix all well. 

Turn the crockpot on high and leave it there until it starts bubbling, then turn it to low and cook until the mixture is thick 12-14 hours. If you chopped the apples the cooking down process may take longer up to 20 hrs. You can tell when your apple butter is done when you scoop up a spoonful and it holds on your spoon without sliding off. It should be a deep dark brown and smell amazing. 
you can blend it with a hand mixer, or an immersion blender if you wish.   This recipe makes about 8-10 half pints. 

at this point you can freeze your apple butter * check online for freezing instructions. 

Canning your Apple butter:   *see link below 
prepare your  Water Bath Canner
Prepare your jars *wash and sterilize your jars according to the link above. It's very important you follow this step. 
  I wash mine in Hot soapy water, rinse and drain. 
  I put my New *don't use old lids ever! jar lids in boiling water for a couple of minutes then turn on low until I use them. 
Using a ladle and a canning funnel I pour the hot apple butter into the jar leaving 1/4 inch head space.   
Wipe the top of the jar with a dry cloth or paper towel 
Using tongs I take a hot lid out of the water and place it on top of the jar. 
Get a screw band and screw it down tight. 
put all your jars in the Water Bath Canner you have prepared *see link above. 
Process in the canner about 15 minutes for Pints, and 10 minutes for 1/2 pints.  
Remove from the canner and set on a towel until completely cool. Then check the lids and make sure they are sealed. * press on the top of the lid. Lids will flex up and down if they did NOT  seal correctly. 
* A note about Apples: I have an old tree in the field behind the house. I use those apples for apple butter as  well as apple sauce. the apples are tart and fall apart when heated. You can use any kind of apples you like. You may want to mix them up and use some tart and some sweet. You'll be filling your crockpot to the top with apples so make a good guess. Husband picked 1/2 bushel for me. Most of those had bad places I had to cut out and some were unusable. I would guess 1/2 bushel of good apples would make one or two batches. If I was buying them at the grocery store I would get about 10 lbs. Any leftovers could be used for Apple pie or other favorite apple recipes.