The Daily Item
NEW COLUMBIA — On Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old school on Third and Center streets, the community of New Columbia will be cooking apple butter using four 30-40 gallon copper apple butter kettles to make between 450 and 550 jars. The ingredients include 37 bushels of Cortland apples, 100 gallons of apple cider, with cinnamon and sugar to taste.
First, the kettles are filled with cider and cooked down to half their volume. Then apple snitz (peeled and sliced apples) are cooked until dissolved in the cider until it all reaches a spreadable consistency. Cooking requires constant stirring to prevent burning until itʼis complete the next morning.
Bucknell, Susquehanna, and Bloomsburg university student volunteers help stir the kettles through the night. Many who help look forward to participating the following year and one couple returned after graduating because they enjoyed it so much. Last year, for the third time, Milton High School Key Club members helped to peel and prepare the apples, called “snitzing.”
The fifth grade White Deer Elementary School class has designed the labels for 10 of the last 11 years. They will be using the Bicentennial label this year. In conjunction with the Apple Butter Festival, the Trinity United Methodist Church in New Columbia makes and sells about 1,500 apple dumplings. There also will be food, crafts, an apple pie contest, and entertainment.
For those interested in watching or helping, “peeling and snitzing of apples” will begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 3 at the old New Columbia School. All are welcome to attend.