Lauren Siebert, Reporter
For more than 20 years now, if you happen to drive past the Hardy United Methodist Church in Hardy around this time of year, you may notice what has become a familiar and welcoming scent.
Known as the Apple Butter Gang, members of the congregation, gather to create hundreds of jars of apple butter.
“We’re making homemade apple butter to raise money to support the mission and community work that the Hardy United Methodist Church does,” Marilyn Lynn said.
A volunteer in the project since 1998, Lynn is now an expert in the creation of the flavorful treat which resides inside quart and pint jars.
“We purchase our apples from an orchard in Harrison and buy Jonathan apples. We use apple peelers to peel the apples, we have ladies that trim all the leftover peel off, cut them into small pieces, put them in a huge pan, cook them down, run the cooked apples through a food processer to make applesauce and they are then put into large ovens that has all of the sugar and spices it takes to make it taste good,” Lynn said.
Surveying the handiwork of the volunteers, one may feel as though they are watching a well oiled machine work. This is due to the commitment of returning volunteers who know they have a job to do and do it well.
It takes approximately two and a half hours from the time the apple is pulled from the box until it becomes the apple butter the community has come to know and love.
“We are making 14 bushels of apples and we get about 30 pints out of each bushel,” Lynn said.
At minimum, it takes 10 volunteers to make the process work.
“We try to make the public aware we have them and they can buy from the church. We will also deliver to anyone that wants to buy them. Some of the banks and stores want to sell it and we’ll take it to them,” Lynn said. “It’s delicious and it’s all for a good cause. They can call here or they can call any member of the Hardy United Methodist Church at 870-856-3340 and they’ll tell them where to get it or will get it for them.”
Reprinted with permission from Area Wide News http://www.areawidenews.com/