Just a few more days and fall will be here. Leaves are already dropping from the trees in my neck of the woods, but the days are still warm and nights are starting to get cool…aaah…great sleeping weather! Like I proudly proclaimed in my Autumn Inspiration post, this is my favorite time of year, especially because it’s APPLE SEASON!!
The apple has got to be one of the most versatile fruits there is. Just think of all the goodness: pies, tarts, fritters, applesauce, crisps, dumplings…the list goes on, but my favorite is by far, CIDER!
A couple of years ago I sold some of my possessions so I could buy a cider press and a fruit grinder. I was aiming for a 5 gallon size, but God took it farther than that. I landed an enormous antique ratcheting 20 gallon size cider/fruit press for the same price as a 5 gallon – thank you Craigslist! The best part was that we got to pick it up on my birthday.
I apologize for the fuzzy photos, but this is where my beauties have sat in my garage for waaaay to long!
And my antique fruit grinder….
…where it has sat on top of our garage refrigerator. Shame, shame.
We like to freeze cider so we can enjoy it all winter long, and I wanted to make memories with my children. Well…I was pregnant that fall and was put on major bed rest and ended up losing our little girl at 21 weeks, so no cider for me.
Last year, the apple season was horrible! Very limited pickings and apples were so expensive that it cost more to make your own than to buy ready made. I don’t buy that store-bought junk that’s been pasteurized, I want the whole, fully nutritional, in the raw, cider. And no, I don’t do hard cider. ahem.
This year, I was really debating on selling the press and grinder because I haven’t used it and wasn’t sure if it would be cost-efficient to make my own. I prayed about it and here’s what happened.
My cup overflows!
Craigslist came through again, and a gentleman had a small orchard that was overflowing with goodness of apples and pears and he was letting people come pick for FREE.
We were able to come home with 3 bushels of five or so varieties! (cider is best if it includes some sweet and tart varieties and even some pears) Not only that, but these are organic…not sprayed!! God is so good.
We completely jumped off our schedule for our Saturday and started out early to go apple picking. There’s just something about harvesting yourself and seeing the fruit in all its glory on the tree.
My gang had a blast, running here and there to get their bag filled first.
They even got to do what they only read about in books…climb an apple tree to pick.
Making the cider will come later because it’s best to let them sweeten a little before pressing them. So become a follower so you can catch how to make cider with a press or even a basic food processor.