The last thing I did with 108 pounds of apples

 That’s right. Apple cider.

With J’s help, this year my cider-making endeavors took only one day – from about 11 to 11, roughly. I have never been so sick of slicing and smashing apples… or at least not since last year, anyway. My industrial-strength Kitchenaid got hot on top, it was working so hard. Still, one 12-hour day is a huge improvement over last-year’s two 8am-3am days in a row.

All thanks to our new gadgets; the handy-dandy apple peeler-slicer-corer I bought, and the cider press we rented. That thing must have weighed two hundred pounds, and it had this ratchet on top made from 4-inch-thich forged steel. It was serious.  And if J had remembered to get fruit-pressing bags from the brew shop, to hold the pomace in, well… it would have worked a lot better.

Tip: Cotton pillowcases are not a good substitute for nylon mesh bags, because they burst under pressure.

Related tip: When trying to remove apple pomace from the walls and ceiling, a bucket of really hot soapy water works better than spray cleaners.

Well, it all worked out for the best. We got five and a half gallons of the sweetest cider ever, with none of the off-pine flavor my old ghetto-rigged press/colander imparted. J and I got to do a crafty project together, which I love. It was fun times. J is helping to think up names to call the final brew once it’s ready to bottle, and the mini-mountain of apples (did I tell you I was given 30 pounds more at the farmer’s market!?) is finally out of my kitchen.

And now I have an excuse to sew four new pillowcases.

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