In between the days of heavy rain and wind and almost-sleet, Sunday was a fine, sunny day; cold, but nice to be out. So we made cider. We hired the electric crusher and big press from the Carse of Gowrie, Stuart brought his hefty home-made press and I had our little mini-press too, which did Catherine’s juicing apples nicely. Apples arrived in wheelbarrows and crates and plastic bags. We congregated under James’s Folly – which is a handy covered ediface erected principally for barbecues and resembling the Alamo – and got to work. Between 11 of us we processed roughly 30 gallons of cider-to-be and a gallon of juice in two and a half hours. Guess where the party’s going to be in a few months!
James did a couple of single variety gallons using his Golden Spire apples. Geoff brought some very pretty little red eaters – possibly Discovery; whereas most of the juice at this stage is an unappetising brown sludge (but delicious), Geoff’s was a lovely pinkish-red sludge – reckon that will be a handsome cider rose. One jar came out alarmingly clear – eerie! Our apples were the usual collection of weird and often unidentified subjects collected by Andrew over the past couple of months that have been gently festering around the house.
After we’d cleaned all the kit, we discovered another bucket of as yet unprocessed apples. And then a hard frost took all the leaves off the local apple trees, and beside roads and in gardens across Perthshire, there are strange Christmas trees of apple, with the late fruits hanging on like green or golden baubles….. More to do yet!