Cider time is nigh, foraging time is now

I went out last night with a ladder strapped to the top of my car and my apple picking bag that I’m pretty embarrassed about (but what are you going to do when people hassle you to add things to your Amazon Wish List every Christmas?) and hit up my two favorite apple foraging spots in my neighborhood. Last year the apples were pretty much non-existent, but this year, I got enough to have my cider pressing party in an hour and a half.

5 boxes full — the basement smells delicious

Wishing my photos were as good as Zack’s


Cider Weekend

We tagged along with our friends Clay and Michaelynn on their annual “Cider Weekend” at their friends’ orchard in out in Wenatchee this weekend. It’s a gathering that’s been happening since they were all in college, where the orchards are gleaned after they’ve been picked, cider is pressed, taco soup is consumed, and all manner of farm fun is had. Our kids ran wild through the apple trees all day, got pushed on the huge swing, and ate more apples than I thought possible in the course of an afternoon. Plus, do I need to say anything more than “apple baseball”?

The main event was the cider pressing, and after a morning of picking apples, we got to work processing them into juice with the Ringsrud family’s fancy cider press. The previous weekend, we had our annual cider pressing here in Seattle, and in hindsight, it was a quaint affair compared to the raw power of this machine, squeezing nearly every last drop out of the apples it pulverized. In a couple hours we pressed more cider than everyone could even take with them.

To top it all off, the family has recently kicked their artisan hard cider business into gear, producing some fantastic bottles from the apples they grow in their orchard. Look for Snowdrift Cider… you won’t regret it. I think Whole Foods is carrying it in the Seattle area.


The new (barter) economy

Jared and Kris were out last weekend and they did a little mushroom foraging (as Jared is wont to do whenever he happens to be near a patch of trees). We’ve gone together quite a few times, and I wanted a few of their chantrelles for some omlettes or pizza or whatever. The beauty of the barter economy is that everyone wins — they got some fresh-pressed apple cider, I got a pile of wild chantrelle mushrooms, and nobody spent any money in the process.

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