Wednesday

Living appley ever after

Apples everywhere at the moment: on trees, windfalls in the long grass, and in trailers:




Temperamental weather has left us (and lots of other apple growers) with the worst apple harvest for years - particularly in orchards planted with Cox. And guess what we've got? The applejuice man we sold our crop to last year said it wasn't worth his while sending out pickers and bins and lorries for the few tonnes that we do have so we've started to juice the apples ourselves. We had a trial run (to see what the juice tasted like) with my electric Champion 200 fruit and vegetable juicer and then kitted ourselves out with some proper (if small scale) gear: 

From the top: the metal hopper and windable crusher, then the press underneath and the bucket with a tap on the floor. The only thing we add to the juice, in the bucket, is ascorbic acid (basically vitamin C) to stop it going brown, and we let is sit for a few hours to settle before siphoning it into sterilised bottles. Then it gets pasteurised in what is more or less a hot water urn: the bottles sit in 80 degrees of water for about 25 minutes.

Tony's currently thinking about label designs. I'm thinking of names. The Cox juice is tart: apple elixir to cure the vapours, to battle against an excess of sentiment, to strengthen resolve.  The Golden Delicious is sweeter: apple ambrosia to soften the heart, to dilute harsh words, for sweet dreams.
 
If you know me and live close enough you can guess what you'll be having for Christmas. In the meantime, if you live close-by and you have pigs then we're your answer:
 
 
Although we can help out in a number of other ways too. If you have warts: rub them with two halves of a cut apple then bury it. Or if you have an apple-shaped birthmark, rub that with an apple and then eat it. Or rheumatism: rub the affected area with a rotten apple. 
 
I also have a recipe in my head for hot apple punch: apple juice, rum or brandy, brown sugar and cinnamon. I might try that this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
Hungry Writing Prompts
Write about something you see everywhere.
Write about the weather ruining your plans.
Write about sharpness.
Write about pigs.
Write about a magical cure.