Sometimes people look at tradition as an impediment to change. We get comfortable in our old, comfy shoes, and we don't care if they make us look dumpy. We know a new pair would give our whole look an update, but they might squeeze our toes.
But tradition can also be a way to build the future, while honoring the past. Since 1923, the women of the Stafford United Methodist Church have organized some kind of fundraiser to support church missions. The first fundraisers were banquets, since the church basement was one of the larger places in town. Nobody seems to know when the annual bazaar started, but it's been more than 30 years (since I've been around that long)!
One of those long-time traditions is UMW Apple Butter. At the end of September, we again got together to make apple butter flavored with red hots.
When I first joined the workdays in the UMW kitchen many years ago, we started the process from scratch. We peeled apples and cooked them down to applesauce. Then we turned it into the brightly-colored spread.
But as lives have gotten busier and there are fewer helping hands, we now start with canned applesauce. I'm sure it was a hard transition to make for people who've been doing it the other way for decades.
But, in the long run, I don't think people can tell the difference. It's still our red-hot colored, cinnamon-flavored spread.
This year, the bazaar will be a little different. We won't have the "treasure" room or the used clothing room. But we will still have some of those hallmarks that make the bazaar the bazaar - like apple butter, frozen apple pies and chicken & noodles.
But if you come to the Stafford UMW bazaar on Saturday, November 12, from 9 AM to 2 PM, you'll still see tradition. It might even be wearing new shoes.
I always have to pick up a few jars of apple butter so that I can make one of our favorite coffeecakes. We had a Sunday School party after worship on Sunday, and I brought Apple Butter Coffeecake as one of my offerings.
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup apple butter
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Topping (see below)
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Mix dry ingredients together, and add alternately with sour cream. Add vanilla and apple butter. Put half the batter into a greased 13- by 9-inch pan. Sprinkle with topping. Place other half on batter on top and sprinkle with rest of the topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Topping1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
If you want a "fancier" presentation, you may put this is a Bundt or tube pan. I usually put half the batter into the pan and sprinkle with half the topping. Then I use the rest of the batter and sprinkle on the remaining topping. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing onto a pretty serving platter.
I usually glaze the coffee cake with a thin frosting made of melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and a little milk. This time, I made a brown sugar icing by melting butter and brown sugar together until the sugar was dissolved. Then add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make a frosting glaze.
If you're making a Bundt or tube cake, drizzle the frosting in "swags," creating a decorative pattern. You will need to wait for it to cool a little before frosting, so the frosting stays in place and doesn't puddle on the plate.
I have a large tube pan. So I made 1 1/2 recipes for our Sunday School event.
When I make this recipe, I use the UMW Apple Butter. The red hot cinnamon candies in the recipe give our version the distinctive pink color. But you may use any apple butter. It just might not have that lovely pink tinge.