OK, everyone, I think I might be developing a Christmas problem. I’ve always loved Christmas. The arrival of the twinkling lights in stores has always made me happy. And I especially love those old Victorian Christmas cards…I mean Santa was svelte back then, wasn’t he? But each year my obsession seems to grow a little more.
Enter the paper mache snowman. Lately at night instead of reading or relaxing with Stranger Things or Gilmore Girls I’ve been working on my paper mache snowman, who I’ve named Johnny for some reason. Anywho, it all happened because of Pinterest (shakes fist in the air at Pinterest). I was on the site looking for Christmas crafts because obviously…and suddenly I spotted a HUGE paper mache snowman that a couple had made from three thrash bags stuffed with newspapers.
So immediately I thought, “No problem! I’ve done a lot of paper mache crafts in the past. No sweat.” I even thought it looked fun, which usually spells disaster for any craft I try. 😉 So let’s just lay it all out on the table, shall we? Mistake no 1: I used plastic grocery bags instead of trash bags. There just wasn’t enough room to properly secure the top after shoving the filling in. Mistake no 2: I supplemented the filling with balloons to take up more space. I’ve used balloons with paper mache projects in the past, but it just didn’t work out this time. Johnny was very, VERY lumpy. Mistake no 3: Thinking I could leave the room for 20 minutes to take a shower. Nope. My cat Pie knocked Johnny over, resulting in a crushed butt. The structural integrity of Johnny’s rear was completely compromised, meaning he kept tipping over. So then I had to build his butt up again. Let’s just say Johnny now has a butt that won’t quit. :D.
So now here I am, waiting for Johnny to dry. When he does I’ll add a nose, spray paint him, and hot glue some buttons on him. I kind of wonder why it was so difficult to paper mache three orbs, yet I so easily paper mached a top hat for him out of half a oatmeal container and part of a cereal box. ???? 🙂 I already plan to make another snowman, just to get the kinks out. Am I a glutton for punishment with Christmas crafts or what? 😉
So back to fall for minute…this pumpkin apple butter is perfect on your toast and oatmeal. And it makes A LOT! Just look at the number of apples I used. I couldn’t help myself. I don’t know about you, but I have so many apples around the house that I had to do something to use them all up. And I figured this was a lot healthier than making apple cobbler again…although I really wanted to. 🙂
- 18 medium apples
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- 1¼-1½ tsp cinnamon, depending on your love for cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- 1 14.5 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Core the apples, but do not peel them. Place in a large slow cooker along with the maple syrup, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring every so often.
- After 4 hours, turn the slow cooker off and stir the apples with a wooden spoon until they are broken up. Add in the can of pumpkin and stir until completely incorporated.
- Let the mixture sit until completely cool.
- Working in batches, puree the pumpkin apple butter in a blender until smooth.
- This pumpkin apple butter freezes well.