One of our family traditions is our family's annual "Apple Day" where my extended family all gathers to pick apples in the morning and then press the apples into fresh juice/cider in the afternoon. We love this time together and the fun seasonal activity of it - plus that we get to drink pure juice all year long afterwards!
We collect and pick apples from where ever we can find them. There's only one rule: they have to be free.
Yep, frugality runs in the family.
Many years we see tons go to waste, rotting beneath the trees we can see as we drive by.
Not this year, though. 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 other years. And in the end...
There are always enough jobs for everyone on apple day, besides just picking. We take all the apples to my 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 always come home smelling like apples and covered in juice!
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. Oh, and you have to put a cup under that stream at least once to taste the super fresh juice (Or is it cider? We never know what to call it!).
Then the two large containers of juice are transported to my sister's house.
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.
And had a great time and a great memory.