We are fond of many of the Amish in our community, but the Wagler family, just literally at the end of our driveway, are a pretty special bunch. They have a long history with the Inn - providing Sherry with a place to go for a light lunch and conversation when she needs to get away without actually going away, stopping by with each new baby to show off the newest addition to the family, even serving on occasion whenever we figure out too late that we could use an extra set of hands for a special event. My very favorite is when they come caroling on Christmas Eve on their way home from church. It's almost surreal, the whole family dressed in their finest, rosy cheeks like some collectible holiday stautes and, of course, singing in pitch-perfect 6 part harmony.
The other day they called us and asked if I wanted to come look at their apple butter. "Sure," I thought, not thinking that it's fall, and these are the Amish, and that this was probably a massive production. And it was. The Amish prefer to stay out of pictures, but they were gracious enough to let me photograph the scene - one GIANT copper kettle and a picnic table full of mason jars waiting to be put up for the winter.
"Do you want me to put the stirrer in?" Laura asked, hauling a 12 foot 2x4 out of the shed.
Being the neighbors that they are, they of course sent us home with a couple jars. While none of us in the kitchen are too keen on the stuff spread on toast, we've been sneaking it into everything lately - applesauce, coffeecakes and muffins, bread pudding, even just a spoonful of it into a warm crock of maple syrup is enough to turn the leaves around here.