We dragged ourselves out of bed extra early yesterday morning so I could relive a childhood autumn ritual. By the time we arrived at Suter’s Cider Press
, cars and trucks packed full of apples were lined up in the pre-dawn fog, waiting their turn to feed homegrown apples into the vintage cider press for a winter’s worth of apple cider.
While I showed up with no apples in tow, the crisp autumn air and aroma of fresh cider brought back all those wonderful memories of a day of picking apples in my grandmother’s little orchard. Then early in the morning (after a breakfast of the sugar stuffed cereal that my mother rarely bought, but grandma could always be convinced to add to the cart), we piled in the truck and joined the line at Suter’s.
Very little has changed since then–though I swear the barn was twice the size last time I visited!
Apples are fed up into the press…
…and the pulp is discarded in a wagon beside the building.
Then employees funnel the cider into 1 gallon containers, and flush the tank before the next customer’s batch.
And finally, gallon after gallon of apple cider to take home and mull, spike, or freeze for a winter treat.
The press sells cider from their own orchard, but I’ll have to take a second trek back –in the afternoon, thank god– when the store is open. Rather than hanging around and coveting other people’s cider, we took a drive in the country to take advantage of the foggy morning and snap some more photos:
Do you have any favorite childhood autumn memories or rituals? My other favorite (which I think I’ll skip recreating) was jumping into crisp fallen leaves, raked together in a big pile in the yard.