Sunday, 10 November 2013

Rushing Around in the Rain

It was another busy weekend and after taking my son to his rugby training I decided to swoop by my Mum and Dad’s house to quickly help hoover up their excess of apples and pears. Typically it started pouring with rain about half way through the short journey but I was prepared as the forecast had predicted a downpour anyway.
We filled a big bucket with cooking apples and a few pears that I managed to reach. It’s a really huge old tree but being wet and slippery, I didn’t fancy sending my son up it wearing his rugby boots.
As we were returning through the driving rain, I remembered a couple of trees by an industrial estate in Chandlers Ford and stopped off to swiftly grab a few more big juicy apples. My son chose to stay in the car at this point. I then realised that we had, so far, only collected cooing apples and racked my brain to think of a tree with an abundance of sweet eaters that would be easy to pick and not too far out of our way.
The Flemming Park Reds! I thought, in a flash of inspiration, and quickly picked out a route that took us past the place where we had first started picking apples about three or four years ago.We were not disappointed; the trees in the swimming pool car park were absolutely loaded. I parked the car directly under the trees, got the big blue bucket out of the boot and started picking. I must have filled it in about ten minutes, which is just as well because it was still raining hard.
All In all I think it must have taken us about half an hour to fill the two big buckets with fruit. This load was pressed into juice a day later, because the Flemming Park Reds are soft and do not keep well. It was a real rush-job; I had only an hour or two of light after coming home after work.
I used the stainless steel spade method for expediency and then smashed them to pulp with my trusty cherry tree branch. I then topped up my latest batch with the two gallons of sweet pink juice to the five gallon mark. I also filled a couple of bottles with juice for the fridge and still had a gallon left to fill a demijohn. I really want to try Pasteurising apple juice, so that we can keep it longer for the children (and adults), who absolutely love it.

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