No cabernet

Cider making

Our big activity today: squeezing apples aka cider-making. Which is far more than that.

The neighbors have a magic hand-operated machine that chips up the apples (circular motion, like a steering wheel), collects the chips in a cylindrical barrel lined with a stout, fabric filter. Then, with another circular motion on a different plane, we cranked down the press, squeezing the juice out through the cracks in the barrel, into the tray, and out the V-cut into the pan below. (I’m not sure why this particular batch was so foamy-bubbly.)

That brings in the next phase: filter and final bottling. We have special fabric filters (old sheeting) stretched across large funnels, and anchored with clothes pins. We pour the fresh juice through, which involves some fussing to get it all through (sediment blocks the filters, sl-o-w-ing the flow), and into a glass gallon jug. We transfer from that through the funnel (without the filter) to the final vessels, plastic jugs suitable for freezing. Long winters you know.

Use the hose outdoors to clean the fabric, wring, and reset on the funnels.

I was on the pouring operation. The Guru ended up on the apple loading and cranking and squeezing part of the operations.

Since it was raining, we did this in the commodious garage. Since it was cool, we didn’t have to watch out for busy and sometimes sated yellow jackets.

We took a break about two-thirds of the way through to have home-made potato soup and pasta (separately), topped off by home-made caramel corn. Living large!

What I didn’t mention was the prep work: collecting the apples, washing them. The apple-loaders picked through them, and selected from the various containers to make the blend.

Now, through the long winter, these households will have some fresh cider as a pick-me-up. We took a quart; it may last a few hundred miles.

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