Small Group Living (& Apple Butter!)

Just what is Small Group Living, you might ask?

I would say it is relaxing with your friends and family in your own private world. It’s coming together and catching up with people that you feel connected to. Sometimes over a quick meal, sometimes just a short visit.

Many times it ends up being impromptu quality, as in last-minute get-togethers. It’s where everyone contributes and pitches in, where the kids help out and participate, and the table is even cleared by all. There are times when friends will start doing dishes at the end of the evening, like our friend Ted who tends to jump in and start loading the dishwasher. The conversation continues from the kitchen all the way out to the front door.

As guests are leaving, my husband Paul will often say, Come back when you can’t stay as long.” He has said this as long as we’ve been married. It’s the Coughlin way of telling our friends, We had a great time!” in a rather humerous way.

To me, this is the essence of small group entertaining: sharing the common life with friends and family that I love.
What did I do with all of those apples? Not only did we make apple sauce, we made Apple Butter with this yummy recipe!

8 cups apples (I put cook my apples in a big "canner" pot; then put through the Kitchen Aid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

Mix together; cook on low. Jar the cooked jam. Bring your canner water to boil, add jars and process for 15 minutes. Remove and cool.

These beautifully filled jars will come in handy for simple, homemade Christmas gifts this year.

My kids love peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with Apple Butter, and they devour it on toast.

It’s even tastier warmed up over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. YUM!!


OKGardners said...

This all sounds so cozy and wonderful. I will attempt to follow your guidance and reach out and share my home and life with others in a more positive way. Thanks for the encouragement!


Amy said...

I'd like to try the apple butter, but I don't have a Kitchen aid strainer. Any ideas?

Thanks for this encouragement!

Katie said...

Apple butter is so yummy on pancakes, too. It looks beautiful!

Org Junkie said...

Wow, I'm in awe of your energy. I made Zucchini Cake today and it wiped me out so much I had to take a nap...lol.


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandy, you're always so sweet to stop by. I feel like I'm way behind checking in with my friends, so thanks! You always do the neatest projects...like making apple butter. My mom makes that too & it is always SO good.

Hope you & yours have a great weekend too.


P.S. Love the new photo..you're such a cutie!

Dee Light said...

We make apple butter too! Is is so yummy. I've never tried it on ice cream, that sounds great.

ValleyGirl said...

"Sharing the common life" That's what I need to get better at. Thanks for the encouraging reminder. And of course, the recipe!

A Woman Who is: said...

Oh I love your style. I love to have my home full of family and friends, but formal entertaining really puts me off most of the time. I hate all the prep work, and fuss. Small Group Living, now that is more my speed. Now I know it has a name!

Lovella said...

Sandy, I've never made apple butter but now I'm needing some on my raisen toast. I'll be over in 5 . .smile.
I love what your husband says. Men have the best communication skills, it just wouldn't sound the same if you said it.
Last night we had a short notice call from friends to pop over for Chinese food and some hot tubbing. What a fun thing to have an invite.

Sandy said...

Here is info about the "strainer" attachment that goes to the Kitchen Aid. You wash and quarter your apples, skin, stem and all. Boil, then simmer until soft. The "strainer" separates out the stems/seeds/skin from the applesauce! So easy!!

If you do not have the Kitchen Aid, or the attachment, wash, peel and core your apples, then cook the same way. Use a masher (for chunkier) or put through your blender or Cuisinart.

Hope that helps (Amy) :)

Nadine said...

Apple Butter over ice cream...now you're talking. I agree sometimes the best entertaining takes little effort at all.

willzmom said...

We love to do the small group living idea too-only around here it's called 'potluck' or 'pitch in'. It's usually a last minute thing, and I think that those are the best kind of gatherings-don't you?
Thanks for the apple butter recipe. I never make my own because I usually get a couple of jars from wonderful friends who share with me. I love apple butter on a ham sandwich made with cranberry or raisin bread.

Kelly said...

Beautiful and informative blog! I'll be bookmarking and coming back to visit again!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I am glad that I found your site when I am so young, this means I have years to enjoy entertaining because of your advice.
I really do love to entertain but have always been intimidated by it. First born, type A, perfectionist!! My husband encourages me to just jump in, but I have so many self-imposed road blocks. As a military wife, who has a lot of moving still in her future, I need to be able to entertain in order to make friends. And those friends are vital to us since we have no close family.
Thank you so much for the practical encouragement but mostly the advice. I have been inspired and am even excited about this new information and how rich it can make my life (and family's life) if I let it. Which I fully intend to do.

I would really like to can, but right now life in a little overwhelming with my little ones. The apple butter recipe sounds amazing! I'll have to add it to my stash of recipes.


GiBee said...

Oooohhh!!! This recipe looks delicious! Thanks for sharing it!!!

Ellen said...

Can you can this apple butter the no water bath way too?