A Watched Pot Never Boils

M and E walk along the bike path in Kalispell. First snow of the season.


A watched pot never boils. If you’ve ever boiled an egg, you know this is true. You wait and wait and wait, and nothing happens until you walk away. Then, voila! The water starts bubbling like crazy, and in 10 minutes (13 minutes in Kalispell, higher elevation instructions for hard-boiled eggs), you have eggs cooked to perfection. Firm yellow yolks, with no green ring!


Watching my apple butter come to a full boil was just as monotonous as anything else. Pots do this to torture us, I believe. I had to stir and stir, and stir some more. For what seemed like an eternity, I watched my apple cinnamon, brown sugar spice goop – do nothing. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and called on M and E for some relief. Their *poor little wrists*  couldn’t take the constant stirring, and they tuckerd-out fairly quickly.


Impatience got in my way and I  turned up the heat. Not much. Just a tad. I didn’t want to scorch the mixture. I boldly looked away.

– It began to simmer and then came to a full rolling boil.

– I cooked it down and filled the canning jars.

– I processed the jars in a boiling water bath.

– I took them out and set them on the baker’s rack to cool.

– Next day, I checked my seals and cleaned the jars.


After a few days, I opened a jar to test it. What disappointment! After all of the tedious work, the apple butter was too thin, not thick and creamy like it was supposed to be. But it tasted good and made an excellent topping for vanilla ice cream.


This past weekend was a lot like watching a pot come to a boil. A winter storm was forecast to come through Kalispell and we were expecting snow. I looked out the window and checked the thermometer many times to see if it was getting colder. All I saw were dark skies and dripping rain. Temperatures remained in the 40’s.


Where was the snow? The miserable weather persisted throughout the weekend. When Monday came, I felt jipped.


Then, the wind picked up, the wind chimes chimed, and snow began to swirl. Finally, the storm had arrived.


As Tolstoy said – Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.



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