I like most things made from apples. Apple flavored Jolly Ranchers were my favorite ones to steal from my youth pastor’s office. My current favorite dessert is Sarah’s upside down caramel apple and walnut pie, and it replaced regular old homemade apple pie. Those caramel apple suckers are the best suckers of all time…of all time! I have drank so much apple cider during one day to make myself sick, and I still bought another gallon the next day. And then there’s the caramel apple (I obviously love the combination): I’ll be making up for lost time with those after I get back into shape.
But there is one apple based delicacy I have been unable to enjoy for four years now: apple butter. I used to really like it. I have never liked grape jelly too much, so I mostly ate strawberry. Apple butter was a great alternative I got probably once a year when we’d venture to Shipshewana. What isn’t to like about apples smashed to a spreadable pulp? We’ll get there.
You know what else is traditionally awesome? Two scoops. Really doesn’t matter how it’s being used. Two scoops of raisins in every box? I’ll buy that. Two scoops of ice cream? Yup, that’s better than one. How many scoops of sugar in your coffee? Two, you say? Yes, of course. It is a wildly popular amount of scoops of anything. So the thought of two scoops of apple butter should bring a smile to anyone’s face, especially my apple-loving face. But it doesn’t.
When I worked at Baymeadows in Florida, we did old fashion visitation, or at least in a sense. I was filling in one evening for one of the other pastors, which put me with people I wasn’t used to spending time with. It was a much older crowd, and I didn’t spend a lot of time with the elderly. I spent the bulk of my time with the teenagers and the Christian school students. So it was bound to be different, if not a little awkward. Just when I thought things were going well, Amish country came up. I mentioned how I liked going when I was a kid, because I liked the chicken, the apple butter, and going places with my mom. That’s when my life changed. A very elderly lady reached over and put her hand on the back of my hand. I thought she was going to say how sweet it was that I liked going places with my mom. Elderly ladies tend to appreciate that. But no, that wasn’t it. She kept her hand on my hand, looked me in the eye, and in a very sincere voice said…
“I love apple butter. I have two scoops every day on my toast. It keeps me regular.”
It was a scarring moment. I think of it every time I see apple butter on the shelf. I could not take having it in my house. I don’t need permanent reminders.