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Homemade Hard Cider

October 31, 2011

This summer our apple tree produced fruit like a maniac. It was so heavily laden with apples that several branches broke under their weight. We had to thin them out and prop the heavier, longer branches with 2×4’s to prevent more of them from being lost. My husband went out before our first snow this week and picked all that were left on the tree- giving some to the neighbor across the street and bringing a big box in for us. I will really miss being able to run outside to grab one for a recipe or a snack, and the thought of buying them at the grocery store seems foreign to me now.

Before the snow and cold weather, however, we had some friends over to help us pick the apples and juice them, and then we made hard cider, which actually is an incredibly easy process, once you’ve got the fresh apple cider.

My husband picked apples. And picked apples. And picked apples.

And there will still some left of the tree when we were done.

The nieces helped as well.

The vast majority of the day was spent cutting. Well, the entire day. The next day I had blisters from my paring knife.

When I invited people over I estimated that four hours would be enough to pick, chop, juice and bottle.

Man, was I wrong.

The last vapor lock went on the bottles and we collapsed onto our couches 9 hours after we started.

But now we have lots of cider in the process of fermenting, and five months from now, well, there’s gonna’ be a party.

*if you’re interested in making some hard cider of your own (which you can do with unpasteurized cider purchased at the store if you don’t have an apple tree) we followed these directions. I’ll let you know in 5 months how it turned out!

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