06 October 2009

Cider Days 2009

We spent our weekend at our neighborhood Cider Days Celebration. Our time spent there could have been pulled right out of an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I was in heaven.

Zayley

As you may recall, we returned from Idaho with a sizable amount of apples from my mother's trees. This festival was on our minds as we filled our bags. N8tr0n and I had gone to Cider Days three years ago, shortly after we moved to Denver. While we thought it was a cute festival...we both agreed that it would be more fun if we:

1) Had a kid. (check)
2) Had brought our own apples to press for cider. (check check)

I distinctly remember N8tr0n saying something about how pressing apples was "right up my alley." What can I say? Dude knows his wife.

So off we went to Cider Days with what I think must have been close to a bushel of apples in tow. Fortunately, we had N8tr0n's brother, Kevan, along to do the heavy lifting.

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After waiting in line for a little while, things started to get exciting. First the apples are given a quick bath.

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After munching through half of her first apple, it was hard for Z-cakes to keep her hands off of these shiny bathed apples.

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After the apples had been washed, we waited in line to use one of these lovely apple presses. I thought they were gorgeous and N8tr0n and I immediately began making plans to someday plant tons of apple trees, buy our own apple press, and make cider every year. We'll let you know when that happens.

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The apples are dropped a few at a time into this box on top of the machine. A large crank is turned by hand and the apples get chopped up and dropped into a bucket down below. The sound of the apples crunching under the stress of the blades was deeply satisfying. It's like the sound of biting into an apple plucked off the tree first thing in the morning at the height of crispness. The air was full of the smell of apples and everybody's hands were sticky. The good kind of sticky.

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N8tr0n and I took turns using the crank that chops up the apples. I probably could have let him do the entire thing...but I couldn't resist.

Next, the bucket is moved over where another crank presses a round piece of wood down on the apple chunks to "press" the juice out. I believe the beautiful picture below will describe the process better than I just did.

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The used up apple pieces were being piled on this trailer next to the washing line.

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Isn't that a crazy ton of apple carcasses? I wonder what they do with all of it?

We brought enough apples to make an entire gallon of cider and we're certainly glad we did. See how glad?

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Deliciously sweet apple cider paired with ribs on a stick and Bluegrass music made for a very happy Walker family. I believe, in fact, that I will now have a glass of said cider and re-live the experience all over again. Hooray Fall!

Photobucket


8 comments:

Rowan said...

Miranda,
My Grandpa used a garbage disposal to mush our apples up. It loaded the turn press. Attached to the bottom was a fabric bag used in jam/jelly making to separate juice from seeds. Then we mushed out all the goods. I think my Grandma then used the remaining mush to make apple butter.
We called our apple cider making days Oktoberfest. Some of my favorite memories and the BEST cider ever.

marta said...

oh goodness that's a lot of apples. what a fun way to welcome autumn properly. i love a hot cup of cider!!! mmmm.

Staci said...

So cool! Note to self - must visit the Walkers next fall.

Petit Elefant said...

I'm totally jealous, Cider Days looks like so much fun!

michelle said...

This is so cool! I love the photodocumentation.

That IS a crazy lot of apple carcasses. It looks like great food for pigs. Or something.

Kimberlee said...

I feel like I've jyped fall. I now know to properly welcome the season you need to make apple cider.

Jaime said...

Hey, you look great!!!

Greeneyes said...

I just went to an Oregon version of the Cider Fest! (I cry a little that I missed this when we lived in Denver.) You are so right..."satisfying" is one of the best words to describe that cider press crunch.

And the offal? Good for compost. Or piggie feed.

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