Members of Harmony Baptist Church completed the congregation's annual apple butter stir on Saturday. Scores of members, as well as a few volunteers from the community, spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday peeling, cutting, shredding, grinding, and boiling down at least 70 bushels of apples (along with sugar, water and cinnamon).
Each day's activities kept four large kettles going outside (each kettle was expected to produce approximately 16 gallons of apple butter) while a multi-generational, multi-method assembly line inside prepared the apples. Lots of the peeling was done the old fashioned way - by hand with a paring knife - but a couple of folks were using power drills and paring tools to quickly skin the fruits. Pastor Steve Pate said the decades-old tradition serves as a fundraiser, of course ($8 per quart or $5 per pint for the finished product), but the fellowship is what has made the yearly event a treasured part of the church's life.
While much of the apple butter will go to fill pre-orders, some should be available for the church's annual fall festival sale the first weekend in November.