CIDER!

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It started one day as I was raking leaves.   My neighbor drove into my driveway, rolled down his window and cheerfully asked me if I still had Hubbie’s cider mill in the basement so he could use it to make cider.

Well, huh?   I didn’t know I had a cider mill in my basement, Hubbie or not.  He roughly described where it probably was, so I told him, as long as he’s not “afraid” of cobwebs,  he’s welcome to it!

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The next afternoon he came over and found the cider mill.  Just a wee little thing, but oh, so heavy!  It’s apparently cast iron, and very well made!   We washed it, and I followed him to his own back yard, where he had prepared a place for our labors.

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Getting it up onto the horses took huge effort.  I was afraid for his back, but  the muscles in his arms and shoulders were strong enough to take on the burden.

The apple trees in his yard had produced abundant fruit.   It wasn’t hard to get enough apples.

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Rather large knives were waiting for us.    Apple cleavers!

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We lined the cider mill with cheesecloth.   (I wouldn’t have thought of that.  I think “someone” here has done a little homework about cider making.   Thanks, my friend.)

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We used the huge knives to chop up the apples, and filled the mill.

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He chopped, I took pictures.

I chopped too, really,  and then we took turns cranking the handle on the mill which caused a thing to press down harder and harder on the apples inside.   A big screw, attached to some gears, attached to a lid.     The only thing that wasn’t attached was the cider mill to the platform, so we had to be very careful not to allow the heavy mill to fall over.  One time we weren’t careful.   (A chance to practice the Christian virtues of patience and longsuffering. . . .)

Every last drop was collected:

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My cell phone camera gave out for a while as it became sticky with apple cider from my fingers, but a nice sponge bath and a rest in my soft dry pocket helped it recover.   We cleaned everything else up too, and then brought the cider mill to the front yard for a wash-down with the hose.

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And THEN – finally –  we tasted the fruit of our labors.     Special stemware!

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Yes!  It tasted good.  Yes!   it was refreshing.   Yes!  It felt like “real food.”    And while we sipped our cider we spoke of things of Health, things like good “living” apple cider that doesn’t have the health-giving enzymes nuked out of them; things like how much effort it takes to find and prepare “real” food that keeps you healthy;  and many, many other things.

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We had been working for several  hours.   We started in daylight and we ended at moonrise.    We were tired and sweaty and  sticky, but we felt good and  refreshed.    I was enthusiastic.  All that good honest work and such good cider!   I said we could do this again in a week or two.

I didn’t get an enthusiastic reply, though.

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4 Comments on “CIDER!”


  1. With all my old apple trees here …it’s always been my dream to find someone who could help me make a BARREL of apple wine for the winter (not have it turn to vinegar) !

  2. Wendy Johnson Says:

    Chris took a turn yesterday with your apple press and the result seemed a little off to me from what I remember of going to cider mills as a kid. Seemed kind of between juice and cider so to Google I went. Found out the apples should be turned into more of a pulp before pressing. Chris took to Google last night to see how to accomplish this and with trying several different methods this afternoon he and Colin came up with a good method. It yielded much more cider per batch of apples. Very tasty!! Look for some at your door later today or tomorrow. Have to give some to our mutual neighbor too. Thanks for loaning the press and inspiring this fun afternoon project!!


    • Hi! Thanks for visiting here. I think you all hit on the right method or the right recipe. The cider is delicious – thanks! The mill is “stored” at my house; anytime you want to use it again….


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