Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pressing Issues - Juicy Gossip

We decided that we needed to press the remaining apples, which were hanging around in the house in two huge buckets.
The children had let it be known that this time they wanted to be rewarded for all their hard work and contributions, by something like their own weight in apple juice. They said it was unfair that the last five gallons all got turned into cider, which they cannot drink.
As we had four children on hand to help us with the carrying, pressing and milling, I figured that a bottle each, as well as several cups, of gorgeous fresh apple nectar would be sufficient payment.
Once the procedure got underway everything started to happen, swiftly. The Head Chef was slicing and the kids were ferrying buckets of chopped apples up the garden to the mill; here, the crank was turned enthusiastically until the big bucket underneath was full enough.
Then the bucket load of pommace was emptied into the press, which was in the workshop this time, and the screw was turned down until the juice cascaded into our waiting buckets, bottles and cups.
I have to say that the children did a fantastic job, their boundless energy was a valuable resource and I was mainly relegated to making sure fingers stayed out of the scratter, occasionally applying a little extra muscle to the press and of course hosing all the kit down afterwards.
Once the youngsters had drunk their fill and been sufficiently paid off with bottles of juice for later, I was left with two gallons that I put into demijohns to ferment. I added a little cinnamon stick to each batch because I think this adds a subtle extra essence and somehow seems appropriate as the cold and gloomy evenings creep in on us.

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