We had the good fortune of trading some of our pork for beef that friends of ours, Linda and Rick, had recently purchased from an area organic farm. We offered to trade more pork for some of the apple cider they made, when they said there were plenty more apples to pick! So, with our three children, and a few friends of Linda we all went and picked more apples two Sunday's ago. I do not ever recall being able to pick apples this late in Indiana. The trees we picked from were dwarf apple trees that were easy to reach. Some of the trees were absolutely loaded with amazing fruit. The abundance and goodness was almost mind altering, as I ran from variety to variety tasting the fruit. In less than one hour our family alone had picked more than 200 pounds of apples. I felt like this was a little bit of Eden that I was experiencing.
We proceeded on to Rick and Linda's homeplace to process the apples into cider. Making cider was a first for Beth and me. The elegantly built and conceived cider press worked efficiently with only our muscle power...and it was easy to use....as long as I remembered to close off the netting in the bucket and switch out drain pans on time. With a tasting glass, we sampled the various mixes of apples being squeezed into what I like to call the Nectar of the Gods. There is nothing quite like the delectable taste of fresh apple cider. Some batches were very light colored and smooth, and other batches were dark and hearty. We seemed to acheive about 10-11 gallons of cider with one hundred pounds or so of apples. We kept back the rest to process and freeze for apple pies and apple sauce, and a few for just eating through the winter as long as they last...an apple a day does the body good.