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Apple butter festival

October 06, 1998

 

Apple butter festivalBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

by: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




Visitors are expected to cause a stir in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., this weekend.

And that's OK.

The occasion is the 25th annual Apple Butter Festival, and apple butter, the heart of the festival, will be bubbling over open fires the "old-timey way" - in copper-lined kettles, stirred all day long.

"No one can pass by a boiling kettle full of apple butter without stopping to take a stir," is something Jeanne Mozier, "Voice of the Apple Butter Festival," professes as a "truth."

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Mozier, who keeps things moving from the bandstand, has been involved with the event for 20 years.

Senior Life Services and members of the Rebecca Stotler family will have kettles cooking in the square. Stotler, 74, is one of 25 local notables recently inducted as first members of the Apple Butter Hall of Fame.

Leila Stuckey, 69, another inductee, will be there, as she has been since the Chamber of Commerce decided to have an apple butter festival in 1974. It seemed like a good idea, but none of the organizers knew how to make it, she remembers. Stuckey's family had made apple butter, and she and other members of Hemlock Homemakers Club had made and shared kettles of the sweet spicy treat, so she got involved.

This year someone donated apples still on a tree, so Stuckey even helped with the harvest. Cooking in the square usually begins about 5 a.m. Last year the kettles were started at midnight. Freshly made apple butter will be jarred and sold on the spot.

Stuckey also helped with the advance apple butter-making at Pleasant View Senior Center and Senior Life Services of Morgan County last week.

There were about 50 people "snitting" - peeling, quartering and coring apples at Senior Life Services of Morgan County, according to Sydney "Syd" Placido, administrative assistant at the center. The next day, about 20 volunteers cooked apple butter in the center's parking lot from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. They made and jarred for sale 109 gallons - some sugar-free, some with sugar and a special grape-apple butter for the 25th anniversary of the festival.

"I've had just about enough apples," Placido laughs, but she'll be in the square doing it again as she has for the past eight years.

Berkeley Springs Lions Club will press tangy sweet apple cider with a turn-of-the-century putt-putt engine. Winners of the apple butter and bake contests sponsored by Morgan County Extension Homemakers will be announced Saturday afternoon.

Connie Wilson, of Great Cacapon, W.Va., was a winner in the 1997 festival contest with Apple Butter Cheese Cake Cookie Bars.

Suzanne Offutt, a teacher and partner in a local orchard, shared her recipe for Suzanne's Apple Butter Cookies.




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