Apple cider pressing day is one of our favorite days!
We are so fortunate to live just a few miles from Cedar Creek Grist Mill, and tend to head up there every few months for tours, butter churning day, to get our cornmeal ground...you name it! The best (and busiest!) day, though, is the day we make apple cider! The volunteers at the grist mill bring in 8,000 pounds of apples and always run out by early afternoon. And that is with a limit of 2 quarts per adult! We like to show up at opening time (8am) and we still tend to park at least a quarter mile away and wait in line for the cider for at least 1/2 hour. Let me say, though, that you could NOT ask for a better place to be waiting around! The mill is beautiful, the trees are breathtaking, the salmon are spawning in the river below (We wait in line on an old fashioned covered bridge. It doesn't get better than that, folks.) and everyone is excited to be there. We always meet new and interesting people in line and have a great time hanging out, even if it is 35 degrees outside.
After we get our cider we head on inside to...make more cider! The girls throw their gloves on and start chopping and pressing their little hearts out. Most kids really like the chopping bit, but Elora is all about the pressing. You take a piece of wood and use it to turn the press in increments, separating the juice from the pulp. It is hard work and she just goes to town. After working hard to press the apples, everyone gets rewarded out back with cakes, cookies, a bluegrass band (yeah, Dad, you'd love it) and the best view around.
Now we just have to wait until next year!