‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ It Is October and Time to Make Apple Butter!.

“Apple butter is not a combination of apples and butter. Let’s just get that out of the way. There is no butter in apple butter, which does make it seem like whoever named the stuff could have done a slightly better job. But if it has nothing to do with the creamy dairy product, then what is apple butter? ” ~ Bon Appétit Magazine

Good morning, dear friends.  I do hope this finds you well and enjoying these autumn days.  Life is good here in ‘The Hills.’  We have been notified Jack Frost will pay us a visit tonight ~ so we know for certain October has arrived.  I hope you will enjoy your visit, as something a bit different is in store for you. 

Along with the arrival of October comes apple butter and the Salem, WV Apple Butter Festival.  West Virginians will look for any excuse to hold a festival.  There seems to be a festival for every berry, season, and occasion.  Even ramps have a festival.    Festivals are in every town and community.  Goodies and recipes abound.  From violet jelly to . . .apple butter. 

My husband belongs to a group known as the Salem Rifle and Pistol Club.  They gather for different events at their club ~ target shooting, learning new skills from skilled and certified instructors from their club, other clubs, and members of various law enforcement agencies.  They are quite a diverse group and personally, I believe they also gather to ‘shoot the breeze.’  Their backgrounds range from educational professionals, farmers, skilled craftsmen (who can build and fix anything), retired military men, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and businessmen.  There are a few ladies in the group, who joined mainly because they want to know how to properly and safely hold and fire a weapon.  

In order to help support the club, one fundraiser each year is held and that is making apple butter ~ the old-fashioned way.    The apple butter is placed over an open fire, in its copper kettle, during the wee hours of the morning, then the members of the club take turns stirring.  The club holds two to three “Apple Butter Kettles” (and a demonstration kettle at the festival) each October in order to have enough to sell at the festival.  In addition to the festival, the apple butter is most usually sold at a local grocery store.  However, there will not be any available for sale at the grocery store this year ~ they sold out.

Mike Lambiotte stirs a demonstration kettle at the festival.

The Mountaineer is not just a mascot. It is a leader. And I will proudly lead my University and state with love and passion ~ my home among the hills,” Roush said. “I also hope to serve as an inspiration for young girls for generations to come.”  ~ Mary Roush

Mary G. Roush, West Virginia University Mascot ~ 2022~2023. “The Lady Mountaineer”

The photo above is of Mary Roush, stirring apple butter.  She is the 2022~2023, West Virginia University Lady Mountaineer and the third female in nine decades to don the buckskins and carry the rifle as the 68th Mountaineer Mascot.  She fires the rifle at athletic and other various events, and public appearances throughout the state.    For those of you who are not familiar with WVU, this is quite a coveted position.  I would imagine Roush could hold her own against any of the men in the Salem club.


“Aim to be the blue ribbon best. Have high standards and work to be exceptional. Develop yourself from practice to be a winner at what you do.” ~ Mark F. LaMoure

These two fine-looking gentlemen are standing in front of the blue ribbon won by the club for their outstanding apple butter. Winning a blue ribbon is quite an accomplishment, whether one is sixteen or sixty ~ you or the group represented is always proud.

“Being a festival queen is a remarkable opportunity for a young woman.  It teaches a lot of life skills.” ~ unknown

There certainly can not be a festival without a queen.  And, this gentleman looks happier helping the lovely queen stir the apple butter than he did standing with his friend in front of the blue ribbon.   Pretty girls do have an amazing effect. 

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Should you live near and may be looking for a road trip,  Go to festival.Net for a list of current fairs and festivals in the ‘Mountain State.’

Know, I wish you and yours a beautiful day and week ahead.  

And. . .

Enjoy the falling leaves!

“The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals.” ~ Siddharth Katragadda




Note:  Inspiration for this post came from my dear friend, Janet.

Photos:  Mike Lambiotte


19 thoughts on “‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ It Is October and Time to Make Apple Butter!.

  1. What a fun event, making apple butter the old-fashioned way! I imagine it’s delicious.

  2. What a fun post, Sandra. I certainly love a good festival, especially if it involves food. Cooking apple butter in a large copper kettle looks amazing, and I can just imagine the lovely smell as it cooks. I am now craving a home-made biscuit slathered with apple butter to accompany my morning coffee. Wishing you and Michael a wonderful Sunday ♥️

    1. Good morning Pam, your biscuits and apple butter are a special treat. My mom made an apple butter cake and I should dig out the recipe. I wish I had you close by and I would bring you several slices. You would love it with your coffee.
      Yes, festivals are fun. Here they are almost a reunion of sorts. You see folks you haven’t seen in a while. Wishing you and your lovely family a beautiful Sunday and week ahead!

  3. Wow, an expected frost is a surprise for me. It will be a while for us.
    The apple butter festival sounds like a great event.
    I remember visiting a friend that lived in the country when I was in elementary school. There were rocking chairs on the back porch with ladies peeling apples to make apple butter. It was a treat to eat with homemade biscuits. I think of that pleasant memory every time I see or hear apple butter mentioned.
    Have a lovely week, Sandra.

    1. Good morning, Bonnie. Sorry, I am late to comment, I was visiting with doctors yesterday – ugh! Yes, apple butter is a treat and it is never such a grand treat as when it is served on hot biscuits, as you enjoyed! I have a recipe for Apple Butter Cake that I will post at some point. It was from “Southern Lady” years ago. To me, food has always evoked certain memories and always fond ones. I hope you had a wonderful visit with your grandson and I am certain you hated to see him leave. Have a lovely autumn week, Bonnie. Enjoy the days!

  4. First of all, is one of these “handsome men” your husband?! Because they are all very handsome indeed!

    Second, and shockingly for me — one of my dearest friends moved to Salem, WV about a year ago! I must send her this link. If you run into Maryanne Schuessler, say hello! You would love each other — she’s a wonderful creative, former public TV colleague and gardening in her new home like crazy. I wish you would be best friends!

    1. Hi, Jeanie. I am happy you enjoyed the post. I gasped when I found out about your friend. Salem is a sweet town, but I never knew anyone who moved there. Mike graduated from college there and also did his Masters there. Mike is going to check and see if any of the guys who live in Salem know her. We live in Clarksburg which is about 20 miles from Salem. I would love a good gardening friend. I left mine in VA and the 2 I had here moved away.

      Yes, one of the guys in the photo is my sweet husband, Mike. He is in the 2nd photo down. Dark blue sweatshirt – stirring apple butter. Thanks so much for your visit and have a great week!

    2. Jeanie, I am shocked about your friends who moved to Salem. Salem is a sweet town, but I have not known folks who move there. The college is the main attraction in Salem. Mike did his undergraduate and graduate work there. And, Mike is one of the men in the photos. He is second down from the top in a blue sweat shirt stirring apple butter.
      I would imagine your area is getting pretty – it is lovely here and Jack has visited us three nights. Have a great week!

    1. Good morning, Penny. Yes, fall festivals are great and we have an abundance of them here. And, apple butter is the best – especially on hot biscuits. Have a great week!

  5. Such a lovely post..as always. Thank you Sandra for your beautiful insight. We love you.

  6. Lots of festivals, indeed! I attended two this weekend – FestivALL Fall at Capitol Market and Milton Pumpkin Festival. Both were fun, and the weather perfect! Apple butter was one of the items purchased. 😉

    1. Hi Rita. Happy that you went to a couple of festivals. They usually are fun and come with goodies and other treasures. I am happy to be back in “The Hills,” especially at this time of year. Our leaves are beginning to show their lovely colors and Jack visited us for three nights. Hope you have a great week!

  7. Happy Sunday, Sandra! I enjoyed reading all about the festival. I love apple butter and can just imagine how heavenly the fragrance must be from it cooking in those big pots. Thanks so much for sharing the festival with us. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, sweet friend!

    1. Good morning, Shannon. Yes, the fragrance that comes from those kettles is amazing. It is hard to resist taking a big spoon full from the kettle. I would imagine your area is beginning to show signs of autumn. Our trees are turning so pretty. Have a great week, my friend.

    1. Good morning, Brenda. The festival was fun and well attended. Mike’s group sold out of their apple butter – no more until next year. Signs of autumn are everywhere here – the trees are so pretty. I imagine your area is also. Have a lovely week, my friend.

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