SURGOINSVILLE — When members and friends of Amis Chapel United Methodist Church made apple butter on Oct. 31, it became evident why such events are called apple butter stirs.
Those gathered at the church just off Carters Valley Road stirred some of the product from shortly after 7:30 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. One kettle was done at about 2:15 p.m., but a larger one took longer because of a problem with getting enough heat to it.
Most of the process involved stirring, which most everyone there took turns doing. Crucial steps along the way were the addition of sugar after about four hours of cooking the applesauce down to something like apple butter, the addition of some "red hots" and then another two hours or more of cooking before it came time to can the product.
The call to do that was made after Shirley Woods took many samples of the apple butter to see if it was thick enough and got the opinion of Evelyn Henderson.
A few jars were canned without cinnamon, and then the rest were canned after Mary Woods and Ronnie Armstrong added cinnamon.
However, that was only the first, smaller kettle. The larger kettle, on a burner that had issues, wasn't taken off until almost dark. People wondered if it would turn out the way it should, but a sample jar opened Thursday morning was fine.
The church sold the whole two runs and then some. Church members and friends may, weather and time permitting, make another batch before winter and after a pair of upcoming events - a revival at the church starting Sunday and a Thanksgiving dinner fundraiser on Nov. 10.
Maybe that will give them time to rest their stirring arms. Ken and Mary Woods, long guardians of the apple-butter making at the church, couldn't make it this time but are hoping to rejoin the process in the future.