This fall, on Saturday, November 10 from 10 am to 4 pm, Heart to Hearth Cookery will be back to demonstrate apple butter making from start to finish on the grounds of Rockingham. A large cauldron will be set up over an outdoor hearth to accommodate this process. Visitors can observe the ongoing preparation throughout the day and help with the stirring.
We also hope to be adding other activities and crafts from 1 to 4 pm, so please check back often at the website for updated info, www.rockingham.net.
Rockingham originally included two large apple orchards on its 360-plus acreage. More than likely, the Berriens, Rockingham’s owners, or a close neighbor would have had a large apple press to wring the juices from the fruit for cider and vinegar. In the 18th century, throughout New Jersey there were a large number of apple trees and cider (hard/alcoholic) was a prevalent drink of the time. Vinegar would have been used in recipes and food preservation, important in a time before refrigeration. Apples would also have been used for desserts and preserves and could be kept whole in cool, dry storage or cut into rings to dry for later use.
The event is free, but donations to Rockingham are always welcome! There will be apple-themed refreshments available and the Museum Store will be open. Rockingham is located on Rte. 603 (Laurel Ave./Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd.), one mile north of Rte. 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Rte. 518 in Rocky Hill. Visit the website, www.rockingham.net for further information.