Tag Archives: cider

A Very Relaxing Day

I had my lie-in this morning and lay in bed reflecting on a pleasant evening with family the night before. Then I reflected on how much better my stomach was feeling since I’d had a couple of bottles of kefir and filled myself with several billion gut-friendly bacteria.

It seems cheap and simple to make your own. I may have a go, as it’s not cheap to buy ready made.

Then, as usual on a Saturday, I realised I was going to be late. Julia made me a jam sandwich for breakfast, which is nutritionally poor, but very pleasant despite that. I felt the need for strawberry jam  two weeks ago, and have been feeling much happier as a result.

I managed to get to the shop (several minutes late) but despite this was still the first to get his computer into action.

We had customers most of the day and plenty of parcels to send. Unfortunately, though we did our bit, the Post Office was unable to do theirs.  The closest one was closed for the day and the next one was staffed by a woman who claimed she didn’t know how to process pre-stamped parcels. She said she “didn’t unserstand all these stamps”.

I’d like to be in charge of staff training for the Post Office.

I’d also like a cattle prod. According to Google it’s legal to own a cattle prod in the UK.

We had supermarket pizza with extra vegetables, coleslaw, cous cous and Aspall’s cider for tea. Cheap, easy, lazy and very pleasant.

It’s not the sort of food that you’d want to admit to, but it was very enjoyable.

If this was a food blog I’d tell you it was artisan pizza with mixed salads and craft cider. And I’d have remembered to take a photo.

 

 

Things that went right

Well, I did a post a while back on things that didn’t go according to plan. I’m feeling a bit more upbeat at the moment, so here’s a companion piece about a few things that went right.

The agriforestry project is going nicely and we’ve just had a review of the results from the Woodland Trust, with Quercus Community being mentioned (which is unusual as we normally get missed out or referred to as “farm staff”). That’s good because everyone is going to get a copy of the report to take home and show their parents.

We’ve just started planting under the trees as part of the second phase, with rhubarb and wild garlic going in.Some of the rhubarb is Timperley Early from the market and some is Early Red that we grew from seed this year.

You can’t see much rhubarb in the picture, but if it’s ever viewed by the right village it will probably solve the mystery of where their idiot disappeared to all those years ago.

byron rhubarb

Based on this year’s harvest and the pressing we should be on for a bumper year next year. So far we’ve passed the production for last year and the cider is tasting good. There’s a slight disagreement on that subject at the moment – I think it’s shaping up nicely to be a flat, dry cider. The farmer thinks it’s like vinegar, but I suspect that’s because his idea of cider is something sweet and fizzy. So far all we’ve done is put it in a demijohn with an airlock and the natural yeast from the apples. We may add a little sugar to give it some sparkle but I’m hoping that will be all. Quite honestly I’ve been a bit surprised by the number of things some people add to the stuff when you read some of the recipes on the Internet.

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And finally, here is the Sloe Gin. The photo is a bit strange because the flash shows up all the mess on the glass and alters the colour a little. I’ve just had to decant it all into a bigger jar as the seal on one of the smaller ones started to leak (something we only found when someone tipped one up to look at it). Despite that it’s looking (and tasting) good, though I only had a couple of spoonfuls that wouldn’t fit into the new jar. Honest.Drunk in charge of an Ecocentre wouldn’t look good on my record.

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Community Apple Pressing and a Tale of Accidental Cider

It was the first Community Apple Pressing Day of the season today (a day important enough to justify capital letters even if I wasn’t a Member of the Society for Unnecessary Capitalisation).

The rain came, though it was meant to stay away and the Community stayed away although it was meant to come. (When I say the Community, I mean the people with apples to press).

Sometimes life is like that. However I did give away some free samples, sold a bottle straight from the press, arranged a community visit and was offered free apples. I’ve also arranged for people to come to the next day (26th September if you’re around).

We were all tooled up to produce a hundred gallons but with the apples we had available we only managed five. Looking on the bright side, if we’d pressed 100 gallons I’d be pasteurising through the night.

Not feeling terribly wordy just now, and my shoulders are aching from the press (another reason I’m glad I didn’t do the 100 gallons!).so I’ll leave the photos to do the talking.

Meanwhile the unpasteurised juice we bottled on Wednesday has already started to ferment and has a nice crisp cider taste to it. Knowing my luck the accidental cider from that batch will probably be the best I manage…

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