Anyone Like a Glass of Cider?
Apple Cider Juice with a Whang!
I spent many of my summers at my grandparents farm. My dad's youngest brother, Edward, was only sixteen months older than I and it was only natural we would bond and be more like brothers than the traditional uncle/nephew scenario. We both worked in the fields in the summer helping to plant and cultivate the crops and our chores also included milking cows, carrying water from the spring and getting in wood for the heater and grandmas's wood cook stove. We also fed the livestock and gathered eggs from the hen house.
There was never boredom and lack for anything to occupy our time and sometimes our imaginations and our youth got us into trouble when we sometimes stepped over boundaries we shouldn't have. My Uncle Eddy knew every neighbor and one neighbor who lived just out the road was an older couple, the Morrow's. Clayton and Estelle had been mill workers and like many other mill workers, were also farmers growing pole beans and other types of produce that could be sold at the Farmers Market in town. Clayton had a very small apple orchard on his farm.
Although Mr Morrow did not grow his apples to sell to the public, there were always plenty for home use and to share with the neighbors and friends. Clayton would always make apple cider in the fall. He would put the cider in clear gallon jugs and store in his shed near the farm house. The cider was not pasteurized and not stored in a cold refrigeration or cooler often would ferment and become hard cider. My uncle and I would visit soon after Mr Morrow made cider and he would give us a glass. As a boy I remember how good it would taste. Of course, we weren't allowed to partake of the hard cider which I think he must have kept for himself. I can't say we never tasted the hard stuff but perchance we did it wasn't intentional.and the burn on our tongue made us know immediately we had just tasted something we weren't allowed.
We live in apple country here in WNC and there is always plenty of fresh cider. Not long ago my son and I played music at one of the roadside apple stands and when we had finished playing we were given a big apple cider slush. The taste was phenomenal and almost froze my guzzle and made my eyeballs hurt!
During the Christmas holidays we enjoy mulled cider. Mulled cider has spices added to the raw apple cider and served hot like coffee or tea. Below you will find a simple recipe for making mulled cider. If you live near a Bloomfield's Dish Barn, they usually stock packets of mulled cider spices.
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole allspice berries
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer on the grates of the grill or over a burner. Divide among individual mugs and serve hot.
Apple cider vinegar can also be made from the hard apple cider and in recent years may health benefits have been learned from using the apple cider vinegar.
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