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When Apples Turn to Gold

Two weekends ago when it was sunny and the chances of finding a parking spot at the pumpkin patch or an unclaimed pumpkin were near nil, we stepped on the gas to Eastern Washington for something completely un-pumpkin.  Something close to heaven.  Something apple. 

Something called Cider.

That my parents have apple trees and more recently a cider press is something I can probably only full appreciate now.  I grew up in Wenatchee.  And well, there were always apples.  Much like rain in western Washington.  Only in western Washington, there are also apples.  They’re just at Fred Meyer.  And you have to pay for them.  Staggering…

Well, here’s where the cider making began.  With these apples.  The ones my parents spent the two previous days picking and hauling up the hill in the backyard.  And which made them a bit tired before we even began. Which doesn’t mean that making cider is hard.  But it’s work.   Only it’s worth it.

If it matters, these are Red Delicious apples.

And this is my brother-in-law washing apples. One at a time.  He’s gonna be there a while.

 

This is my son arranging the apples.  Very important if you’re three.

And this is what the cider press looks like.  My parents have it set up in the back of their truck, which sort of isolates the process and saves everyone from bending down.  At least I think that’s the rationale.

This is my mom with the motor’s plug in her hand.  No motor, uh…no cider.  Or at least no shredded apples–the easy way.

So here we go.  With the motor plugged in, the first thing to do is put the apples in the hopper.  The whole apple.  Stems. Seeds.  Everything but the branch it came from.

There’s the little cider press motor.  And… the car I drove in college.

Here’s the hopper where the apples go.

And here’s the inside of the hopper.  Where the apples get chomped.

And here’s what chomped apples look like, sitting in the bag and bucket that catches them.  Like coleslaw.

Only once the bucket is full, we slide it out from under the hopper, tuck the bag inside, and put the lid on.

Then that bucket with the lid is moved down toward the end of the cider press where the actual pressing part takes place, while the second bag and bucket slide in to take its spot and the shredding continues.  The lid (on the bucket with all the shreds in it) has a metal disk on top to protect the wood as the piston–the thing with the handle that my husband is spinning– comes down to press on top of it. 

And behold…cider trickling forth!

Which is then carried in the ‘catching’ bowls to my mom who then dumps the cider into a pitcher.

So she can pour it into the jugs.  Beautiful, frothing, cider.

Amen.

So here it is again.  Apples from my parent’s trees.

My brother-in-law still washing ’em.

 

Some tired apples taking a nap.

Proof that it doesn’t matter your size. 

Only your enthusiasm.

And a few muscles.

Then here it is… the fruits of our labor…

Tasting like gold from heaven.

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6 Responses to “When Apples Turn to Gold”

  1. Leslie says:

    That looks SO fun. I am jealous.

  2. Sarah says:

    I love fresh apple cider

  3. Charity says:

    mmmmmmm Love it Jeanne! We did a little this year too, just finished it!

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