Apple Butter and Dixie Cups

The day that Mrs. Blitch stood in front of the classroom and told us that we were going to make apple butter, she may have just as well said, “We're going to make magic.” I can’t say that I actually remember the peeling and measuring and cooking and I can’t say what kind of apples she used or what other ingredients she added, but to this day I remember the end result, the feel of the tiny Dixie cup in my left hand and the plastic spoon in my right, the dipping down into the rich caramel colored surprise and finding that the food of which I had not been previously aware was delicious. Third grade was my favorite year of elementary school. In addition to making apple butter, we went on a field trip to City Dairy, both the downtown processing plant where the glass bottles rattled down a metal conveyor belt and the farm on Banks Dairy Road where we walked down the cement floors of the long barn and watched a cow being milked. That year we also learned to write in cursive and began memo