Making : apple cider

In the 17 years (almost to date) that we’ve lived in our home, there hasn’t been one summer that we haven’t said ” we should make apple cider with all of our apples” or something like that.

So this year, one day we went and rented an apple press and went for it.  We had so many, so many apples falling off the trees that we didn’t want to waste anymore.  This was mid August, and our apple trees were full, like I’ve never seen before.

We picked as many apples as we could, and we thought we could press in one day.

We started around 10 am.  Had everything prepared, sterilized, and ready to be working outside, with a beautiful (not too hot either) of a day.

The apple press, beautiful by and on itself.  Even before all the magic that it does.

We were so excited, we’ve never done it before.  We weighted all the apples, and I can tell you now, that we still haven’t added all the little notes where we wrote them in.  I will write that later here, when we do have it because it was a very large number of pounds as it turns out.

We have two kinds of apples, and also got some crab apples, and three other kinds we bought separate.

We cut, and cut.  All mixes of apples. No need to peel, core or anything.  We took the bigger bruises, and any bad parts we found, but it was pretty straight forward cutting.

We all took turns in our chores.

But Siena really loved the cutting part.

And Lucas the putting in the cut pieces.

And the watching of every part of the machine.

We all did.

And look at the beautiful colors…

So much fun!

And all the work paid off… delicious apple juice! So fresh… can’t get any fresher!

So much fun… all day long.

And we kept cutting.

Kept looking.

And pressing.

And we never tired of this beautiful color and delicious flavor.  Even with the different mixes of apples we were cutting at the moment, they tasted different.

We had so many apples that had falling from the night before and previous day.  but we also wanted to pick some more to try them without bruise (for once!), but also because we had the press and wanted to take advantage of it.

Without an apple picker, we’d go up the ladder and pick them.  but for those too tall to reach we got an idea.  Mark would shake the tree and we’d catch the apples in this blanket.  Perfect idea if the apples didn’t fall all over, and accidentally hit us.  So Lucas got a better idea yet!

Until, half way our day, we got smart and went and bought a fruit picker, since we didn’t know anybody who owned one.  Not only saved our heads for the day, but also, we thought that since we’ve only lived in this house for 17 years, with these huge apple trees that keep growing, we should probably own a picker and use it to get our apples from now on.  We are so glad we did.  Even in the few weeks we’ve owned it, it’s been nice to pick apples instead of eating those that have fallen.

During the day we had few friends stop by.  They helped us with the work, enjoyed some fresh apple juice, and took a jug or two of this so fresh juice they helped us press.

The day was almost gone when we were still pressing the last apples.  A whole day had passed doing this fun activity, and we all really enjoyed it.  We were tired from being up all day.  Lucas and Siena did awesome and were so helpful.  We wanted to do it again when weeks after we still had tons and tons of apples falling from our two trees.

I wonder if it was the bees that helped us get so much fruit this year.  It is incredible the amount of apples we had this year.

We drank so much apple juice that day.  Fresh from our backyard fruits.  Nothing else than washed apples, cutting, chopping, and pressing.  We are so glad we finally did it this year.

We froze most of the juice.  But I also wanted to try canning it.  We strained it, and then boiled the juice for 3-5 minutes.  We then put it in quart jars, and placed it in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  (I looked at this website.)

We are also making hard cider.  We haven’t tried it yet, but we are looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

We pressed over 10 20 gallons (I was corrected) of apple juice that day.  We drank apple juice that whole day, and the following days (kept in the fridge), and gave it to our friends.  But I’m also looking forward to drinking it when we are inside, and it’s the middle of winter.

There is no going back.  We are already planning to renting a press next year, and making some more apple juice.

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5 thoughts on “Making : apple cider

  1. Little Sis September 10, 2012 / 7:26 am

    Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing this super day with us. I’ve often wondered how many apples it would take. What a great experience for your family.

  2. Amy Jo September 10, 2012 / 9:52 am

    Jealous! Rhonda and I made apple juice and canned it last year. It was beautiful and yummy! We can’t wait to come over and try yours.

    • naturallyfundays : marcela September 10, 2012 / 9:54 pm

      Hi Amy Jo. We will make sure we open one of our canned juices when you come. We are having apple-something every day, so I’m excited to be a little further away from apple season to appreciate it even more… it is exciting!

  3. Kelly September 10, 2012 / 11:46 am

    Lucas in his helmet has me laugh in stitches! Brilliant!

    Next year we’ll come help. Dolores and Evan would especially love it.

    • naturallyfundays : marcela September 10, 2012 / 9:52 pm

      Oh my goodness Kelly. It would be so much fun to have you. We had a great time, and I can totally see this being more fun with friends. Let’s do it!

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