This past weekend, we visited D.’s parents at their place up near Lake Superior. As soon as we drove in, I noticed a cider press set up near the garage. I’ve been wanting to get one by the time we harvest apples next year and I was really hoping that we were going to get a chance to use the press this weekend. Saturday, my wish was granted and while it was cold enough to make my hands hurt washing apples, we washed apples, cut out bad parts and put them through the press. I’ve been reading Annie Proulx’s book on cider making but there is nothing like really trying something to get a feel for whether you want to do it. Especially since my wish to keep bees will not be realized. Much as I love bees and found learning about bee-keeping and honey making interesting, I’ve been stung twice, this summer and last and while my stings weren’t anaphylactic shock dangerous, they were painful and did last for nearly a week. Of course since I was biking both times and never saw exactly what got me, but I think it’s safe to say that bees and I can co-exist best by mostly avoiding each other.
One of the things we hope to do this winter is settle on either building a cider press or finding a suitable press, used or new as well as building a platform where the apples can “sweat” for a week or a little more between picking and pressing. It would also appear that now would be the time to start hoarding bottles. I think we could probably try making hard cider on a small-scale with purchased cider. Or my father-in-law’s cider since he gave us a big bottle to take home.