Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nostalgia Slathered On A Piece of Homeade Bread

When I was growing up - and even when I was a young wifey - I could be caught expressing my desire to move far, far, far away from the small Midwestern town I called home. The town, in all it's niceties, just seemed too small for my tastes. I was certain I was missing out on exciting adventures and well, something better.

For several years, I did move away, though not 3500 miles like I had dreamed but rather 35 miles north, in an urban part of our capital city. It was....ok. I soon found, despite all of the conveniences of living in the city, I missed my small town. Things just seemed to move slower, the people seemed nicer, and the stars were visible, even in the "populated" parts of the area.

When it came time for my oldest to start school, I knew I had to move back. I wanted my children to have the same fondness for the simpler, slower moving minutes of my own childhood. Six years ago, we returned to this part of town.

There are many things I love about living out here, cornfield after cornfield after soybean field, included. One of my favorite things about this area, and this time of year, is the annual festival of Apple Butter Day.

(What? Apple Butter? I don't know even know what that is, let alone it has a day???)

Apple Butter Day is held each year on the second Saturday in October, located in the central part of the town. Apple Butter (a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown...thank you Google!) is churned and stirred in the same manner of the earliest settlers in a tiny, authentic log cabin, served on the thickest of fresh baked bread. Blacksmith demonstrations display an almost forgotten trade from long ago. Crafts abound and typical fair food is consumed. Bluegrass music flows from an old time, wooden stage which shares the spotlight with a old fashioned Spelling Bee.

To put in the most cliche of terms, it's just good, old fashioned fun.

Years ago, I would've shared the day with my own mom and dad following a Saturday morning football game. As a teenager, I would've visited with a group of my girlfriends. In, the later years it would've served as a date. Today, it serves a chance to share the tradition with my own daughters, my best friend and her daughter. 

I love it most for that reason alone.