Apple Day

I mentioned yesterday that last weekend was our family’s annual “Apple Day.” My extended family all gather to collect and pick apples from where ever we can find them.

There’s only one rule: they have to be free.

You can see I came by frugality naturally.

Though to be honest, what we need the apples for doesn’t require pristine apples and we live in a part of the country where apples grow wild all over the place and every other house has some apple trees.

Many years we see tons go to waste, rotting beneath the trees.

Not this year. It wasn’t a good year for apples and we had our work cut out for us. We called all the people we knew- and some we didn’t- searching for apples. We took small, scabby apples we would’ve tossed last year. And in the end…

We managed to find enough.

Have you figured out what we do with these less-than-pristine apples?

Yep, apple juice.

Er, or is it cider?

There are always enough jobs for everyone on apple day. We take all the apples to our stepfather’s house and after they are washed, they are put into this cool electric apple crusher.

That is one messy job. My daughter and I came home smelling like apples and covered in juice.

Then they are funneled into the apple press.

Be prepared to have apple pieces fall on your shoes.

Then the brawny men (we like to tell them that, ’cause who wants to take this job, really?) take shifts turning the handle and pressing down the crushed apples.

Apparently, the action was so intense in this picture, I couldn’t hold still long enough to take a clear picture.

As a side note, we’ve used an electric press the last few years but found it didn’t extract as much juice as good old man-power.

What do you know.

The juice gets filtered as it comes out of the press. This is just the first of two, and sometimes three filterings.

Then the two large containers of juice are transported to my sister’s house.

They sit overnight and those of us who can (ha, get it? as in canning) meet the next day to put all the juice up in quart jars so they will be shelf stable.

We worked as a team boiling the juice, transferring it to jars, canning them in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, and removing them.

And doing it over and over again all day.

But in the end we canned 148 jars of wonderful apple juice (cider? Anyone know the difference?).

And had a great time and a great memory.


This is linked to Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer

and Simple Lives Thursday





  1. Jenelle says

    What a great family tradition! I love how the whole extended family gets involved. It makes me wish I had family near by. But my brother lives up in Washington. Maybe an anual trip up there! Now that could be fun too. :) (But that doesn’t really meet the “free” qualification does it?)

  2. says

    “And you do this every year?”

    Just kidding it looks like super fun and almost like an old fashioned barn raising but with apples. I love the pictures of the juice/cider they looked so pretty.

  3. Kayte says

    We’ve been up to our ears in the same thing… apples. Only, I took the easier route and used a juicer (and only a couple quarts at a time), but I really want to try doing it your way. Definitely a memory maker and good apple juice, too.

  4. says

    We have a huge apple tree in our back yard and we get tons of apples every year…we have canned, juiced and frozen apple treats everywhere…then we start the process of giving them away. I gave about 5 large boxes to the homeless shelter and all my neighbors and friends…it’s a LOT of apples!

  5. says

    What a wonderful family activity! We did this together this year too but on a much, much smaller scale. Nice job and thanks for sharing at simple life thursdays!
    xo, Sustainable Eats

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