Apple season is winding down soon here in Oregon, and everywhere
I look, I see windfalls of red, green, and gold fruit.
Neighbors are just giving them away.
Naughty donkeys are sneaking into the orchard to steal as many
bites as possible before being caught...
And, so, like many others, we decided to do some canning. We
found out that our local tool rental company rents a cider press by
the day. For $25, we got a press with an electric grinder (I think
this made the process a lot easier), and a manual press. By the
way, if you think a project of pressing apples won't take all day
-- a couple of hours, we thought! -- I'm here to say otherwise. I
didn't even think we had that many apples... so it's definitely
something you should set aside plenty of time for.
Also plan for lots of stickyness.
We collected all the juice and heated it to a boil, then canned it
with a boiling water bath. An internet search will bring up any
number of ways to can cider, for the uninitiated (like me, before
this long, long, loooooong day of apple cider pressing...)
We have a number of places listed on Farm Stay U.S. that offer
cider pressing as an activity to enjoy on their farm, which
would also be a great way to get this experience!
Soon enough, the apples will be gone, and we'll be adding some
mulling spices (and maybe a little rum?) for a toasty drink around
the fireplace with friends. Happy fall!