Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cider Making

We had cider made two years ago. We really appreciated having it and decided to try again. Day one of picking apples was a total bomb. Kids were whining, Kaitlyn was crying(later I discovered she was covered in bites from something), briers were pricking, snagging, and pulling, and apples were dropping, rolling, and the nicest ones were generally out of reach.
Day two we picked in a neighbor's orchard. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a nice cool breeze and NO briers or cow patties. Don't you wish you could have been there?

Naturally the youngest members of the team spent a lot of time messing around. Surely the most efficient way to transport apples is to pick them up, put them into the neck of your shirt(after making sure your shirt is tucked in), load them in your Tonka truck, drive them to the loading station, and unload your truck.I really hate seeing my kids up trees, but one thing I've learned as a parent is to close my eyes and hope for the best. Naturally this rule only applies in some situations.

Kaitlyn waiting for Newton's apple.
Day three: Cider mill here we come. All those apples that were painstakingly picked, tossed, shook, rolled, dropped, thrown, and in general moved from their leafy heights to this box were...
rolled into this shoot where they were...
baptized (traditional Mennonite, sprinkled, not dunked Baptist style) with water and chopped.
Then they were loaded and pressed into cider.
Then jugs were filled, capped, rinsed, and loaded into the van. All 104 gallons.
We got there at noon and were ready to go by 1:30.
The van looked like I was a milk truck driver wannabe. I had to send the kids home with Kenton in the truck because the floor was crammed, jammed, filled with cider. It smelled heavenly.

So there you have it. Cider making from A-T, or thereabouts since I didn't include any pictures of unloading cider on unsuspecting friends or finding room in the freezer for some and canning the rest. Sound like fun?


  1. We used to have a cider mill near here and would take the kids to watch it being made. To be able to start it with your OWN apples? That is really cool. So what do you do with 104 gallons? Do you sell any?

  2. No,we didn't sell any. About 12 gallons got canned, another 20 some went into the freezer, and the rest were given away. I wish you guys lived closer.
    Sorry we didn't call during the fair. Things were kind of crazy. I'm not sure you would have wanted a bunch of dirty, smelly people anyway. ;P