2nd Place Ribbon for Apple Butter

I remember when we made fresh apple butter using local granny smith apples and honey from our backyard hives this summer.

I distinctly remember it smelling so good simmering in the crock pot that I awoke to the aroma of the apples simmering in a bath of honey and cinnamon wafting through the house sometime in the early hours of the morning. It was incredible.

I remember putting the apple butter on biscuits, toast and just about anything else thinking this was as good as what I remember getting from Silver Dollar City when I was a kid.

I remember thinking it was good enough to sell, not that I was willing to part with any of it.

A reminder about this month's local beekeeping meeting came into my inbox, and along with it a reminder about the annual "cooking with honey" competition.

Any member who made a dish using honey as an ingredient could enter their dish into the contest to be judged. Judges would award a ribbon and a cash prize for first, second or third place winners in each category and then the dishes were shared with the rest of the club.

The categories were: breads, cookies, cakes and miscellaneous. The miscellaneous category was for items such as barbecue sauces, jellies, jams, roasted nuts, granola, etc., a great category for apple butter.

"Darn" I thought..."wish I had just one more jar of apple butter left to enter into the contest."

I got to thinking about it and decided to double check and see if I could find just one more jar. What luck - one jar remaining!

I wrote the recipe onto an index card and put a label on the jar and took it with me to the meeting.

The judges were from the local culinary school, and after tasting all the dishes entered, declared it was a tough decision, but they had their results for each category.

When they announced the winners for each category, I was excited to hear our apple butter won second place!

It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I entered the contest. I think everyone at the meeting had a great time tasting all the dishes made with honey.

Special thanks to my wife Amy who made the apple butter, and to the bees who produced the honey.

The recipe we used can be found here.

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