Treat Those Apples Right
Apple season is a blessing and a burden. Excited by early October's glut of local fruit—so strikingly different from the homogenized four varieties that pack grocers' shelves the rest of the year—I tend to overdo it. There's at least one more bag of apples than I can eat. Regifting is out; my friends and coworkers are all in similar situations. So the orphaned apple sack sits whithering in a corner of my kitchen, scowling at me, until I finally throw it out. My guilt makes that trip to the dumpster even weightier.
But, thank god, I've found salvation. Its name is apple butter.
Old, soft and bruised apples made sweeter by their sugar-accelerating imperfections are magically transformed into something I get excited about eating again. The trick is spicing it as you like it, then cooking it low and slow in the oven.