This is inconvenience food at its finest. The lovely Sharon pointed out that the potato sack was empty and she had plans to cook and freeze an epic amount of food for the little lady. I ventured out into the turning weather and dug out some potatoes obediently. Then I turned my attention to the apples. The first autumn front was beginning to flex and stretch itself, simply waking up and preparing at its own pace. This wind loosened a few apples; that told me it was time. I picked and plucked, then several times stopped to watch the rooks above my head. It was undeniable, they were playing in the wind.

I collected a bumper harvest as one of our trees has at last made it to a mature state while the rest of them are still too young to produce all but a few apples. Also, I already had quite a few apples that had been donated by a couple of kind souls at work. These were a mixture of cooking apples and eating apples from trees in their gardens and I took them kindly

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donations

Then there was the apple press. This wood was part of the monkey bars in an old school gym before it was levelled to the ground. The whole school was folded into the earth and is now the mantle for a 3G pitch. These monkey bars sat gathering dust for a decade before they found themselves with me and the apples. Cutting, glueing, drilling and bolting the press was taken care of by a colleague for the modest price of a jar of honey, a bottle of single malt, and the promise of one bottle of cider no matter how it turns out.

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I was getting ready for the pressing when the in-laws and the out-laws all arrived. The cottage turned into a homely throb of the noise of children playing and the smell of various cooking projects on the go. The men folk gathered around the magnetic apple press like iron filings. It should have been a case of too many cooks spoiling the cider, but actually turned out to be quite efficient. We all chopped apples speedily. I even swapped out my brother in law’s apples for rosemary at one point and he just accepted it and kept chopping (the foccacia needed to be finished and put in the oven).

We found a thick tree branch and stripped the bark to use as a makeshift pulper. Then we pressed (sorry) the car jack and bucket into action. We were all quite surprised at how much juice came out. We pulped and pressed and then pulped and pressed again. After all the visitors had left the little man and I finished off enough pressing to fill the first demijohn, then we called it quits.

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There are still buckets of apples to be pressed, but there should be plenty of more windy autumn nights to press them.

IMG_20130915_184607still to be pressed

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