Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Cider Making Family Reunion in the Heartland

Every year for decades our family gathers to make cider in the barn yard on our ancestral press. It's always the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend.

For this reunion I drove my brother's truck up to Ringhausen's Orchard where I bought five bushels of mixed cider apples and one bushel of #2 reds.

How do you make cider? Start with good cider apples and a reliable press. Gather family. Rinse apples. Make sure everyone from 1 year to 70 gets a chance to turn the crank or screw down the press. Watch the pure dark brown apple juice to flow into five-ten gallon containers.

Dip out and drink immediately. You'll swoon at the intensity of the flavor. It's like liquid apples--which it is.

My father--the family patriarch at 95--felt fulfilled as he witnessed all the families and generations in harmony. His clan is in good shape. He's done well.

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