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Posts Tagged ‘Wenatchee’

Two weekends ago when it was sunny and the chances of finding a parking spot at the pumpkin patch or an unclaimed pumpkin were near nil, we stepped on the gas to Eastern Washington for something completely un-pumpkin.  Something close to heaven.  Something apple. 

Something called Cider.

That my parents have apple trees and more recently a cider press is something I can probably only fully appreciate now.  I grew up in Wenatchee.  And well, there were always apples.  Much like rain in western Washington.  Only in western Washington, there are also apples.  They’re just at Fred Meyer.  And you have to pay for them.  Staggering…

Well, here’s where the cider making began.  With these apples.  The ones my parents spent the two previous days picking and hauling up the hill in the backyard.  And which made them a bit tired before we even began. Which doesn’t mean that making cider is hard.  But it’s work.   Only it’s worth it.

If it matters, these are Red Delicious apples.

And this is my brother-in-law washing apples. One at a time.  He’s gonna be there a while.

 

This is my son arranging the apples.  Very important if you’re three.

And this is what the cider press looks like.  My parents have it set up in the back of their truck, which sort of isolates the process and saves everyone from bending down.  At least I think that’s the rationale.

This is my mom with the motor’s plug in her hand.  No motor, uh…no cider.  Or at least no shredded apples–the easy way.

So here we go.  With the motor plugged in, the first thing to do is put the apples in the hopper.  The whole apple.  Stems. Seeds.  Everything but the branch it came from.

There’s the little cider press motor.  And… the car I drove in college.

Here’s the hopper where the apples go.

And here’s the inside of the hopper.  Where the apples get chomped.

And here’s what chomped apples look like, sitting in the bag and bucket that catches them.  Like coleslaw.

Only once the bucket is full, we slide it out from under the hopper, tuck the bag inside, and put the lid on.

Then that bucket with the lid is moved down toward the end of the cider press where the actual pressing part takes place, while the second bag and bucket slide in to take its spot and the shredding continues.  The lid (on the bucket with all the shreds in it) has a metal disk on top to protect the wood as the piston–the thing with the handle that my husband is spinning– comes down to press on top of it. 

And behold…cider trickling forth!

Which is then carried in the ‘catching’ bowls to my mom who then dumps the cider into a pitcher.

So she can pour it into the jugs.  Beautiful, frothing, cider.

Amen.

So here it is again.  Apples from my parent’s trees.

My brother-in-law still washing ’em.

 

Some tired apples taking a nap.

Proof that it doesn’t matter your size. 

Only your enthusiasm.

And a few muscles.

Then here it is… the fruits of our labor…

Tasting like gold from heaven.

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I was in the tenth grade when the word “side-out” still meant something in volleyball and when our uniforms all had long sleeves and were tucked into the equivalent of a woman’s swimsuit bottom.  Maybe you’ve seen pictures.  Or *shudder* maybe you wore them, too.  We called them bun huggers.  And why they ever entered the sporting world, I won’t even bother to ponder.

Only as a sophomore wavering between the junior varsity and the varsity, I had two pairs.  One for each uniform.  Which was more than I could keep track of on the weekend of our jamboree in Spokane. 

Now, if you live in Wenatchee like I did, then you know a trip to Spokane in a car pressing the accelerator takes three hours.  A bit longer on a bus.

Which is why when my dad showed up in Spokane on that Saturday morning in the wake of the bus carrying a small brown lunch sack without a lunch in it, and said, “your mother found these in the wash machine and knew you’d need them,” I nearly fainted.  I was barely on the varsity.  Barely worthy of wearing what was in that sack.  And barely able to understand my dad’s six-hour gesture to hand off a pair of purple bun huggers, so I could play.  In uniform.  

But I’ve realized that there are more things than that Spokane bun hugger trip that I may never understand.  Uh…like my parents leaving their house in Wenatchee at 2:15 this afternoon, driving for three hours… to see us for two hours… and then driving home for another three.  The math alone on that is terrifying. 

Only those two hours, like my dad’s two minutes, weren’t a waste of their time.  It’s simply how they live.  It’s how they show their love. 

And when they’ve got love to pour out…

Ain’t no trip too far.

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