Chickens like to help press cider.

Tim and I – with some biological family and some chosen family – picked apples in Western Vermont this fall (just a bushel of Macouns, my favorite eating apple); then, when more chosen family visited, we picked 4 or 5 bushels of apples at Tim’s uncle’s orchard (Northern Spy, Wolf River, a few others).  Finally, we picked several bushels from our own trees for cider – mostly Lodi and Haralson and another whose breed we have forgotten.  Our friends took some home – mostly the Wolf River, which is a great baking apple, and so big that old Vermonters joke you only need one to make a pie.

First you shred the apples . . .

The Lodi and Haralson we used for cider, but since they were picked after the frost, the cider was really sweet – too sweet for me, though I think it’d make great hard cider.  (That’s one thing on my list of things to learn next year: hard cider making, by most accounts pretty darn easy.)  Anyway, while I didn’t care much for the cider’s taste, it was fun to make.

. . . which fall into the straining-cloth-lined barrel . . .

We made another batch of cider a week later with the Northern Spy, an apple which, my brother-in-law says, needs a good frost to sweeten it.  My taste-buds thought this batch turned out quite well!

. . . and then press the juice out!







Serve cold, or hot and mulled with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.  Accompany with homemade doughnuts.