By Kathy Johnson
Each year members of the Batesville Ruritan Club haul out their iron kettles, find their pennies for the bottom, pick up lugs of apples and gather up fresh jars and lids for the Batesville Apple Butter Days.
Emily Greer, Ruritan member extraordinaire, along with Hamp Carruth and other Ruritan members, will once again start peeling apples starting on October 16, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The iron kettles will be placed on the fires with pennies inside to keep the apples from sticking. and the cooking and the stirring will begin.
“Folks are welcome to come at any time to join in and help. It’s meant to be a community project,” said Greer. And it is. It is also a long process and members and volunteers from throughout the area will be peeling, then cooking and stirring, stirring, stirring throughout the night from Saturday into Sunday. The giant kettles must be stirred constantly to prevent sticking and make the butter smooth and sweet. Volunteers come from Charlottesville, Crozet and around to help each year.
“Canning will begin sometime Sunday morning,” said Greer. “Sometimes 10ish and sometimes not until noon. It depends how the apples cook down. The pancake breakfast will be from 8 a.m. on Sunday (October 17) until the batter runs out (likely around 10 a.m.) and the cost is just $4 for adults and $2 for children. “We are hoping to have a band that will play on Saturday afternoon. Sunday folks can bring instruments and just jam if they like,” said Greer.
There are no pre-sales before Saturday at the field. Apple butter will be available in half pints for $3, pints $5, and quarts for $7. The annual event is held in downtown Batesville in the field across from the Batesville Store. Parking is available in the field and jackets are usually suggested.