It's the Fourth Annual Cider Squish here at St Benedict over the Apple Tree. This morning I picked a number of apples (and scraped my shin on a branch while clambering about), went to the beach for language exchange, and returned to pick more apples. This year I used a metal stick with a loop on one end, loaned by one of our neighbours.
"I call it a fruit loop," he said.
It was a lovely sunny day, so a good sprinkling of neighbours were outside gardening, tending their pigeons, and generally commenting on the apples and enjoying the sun.
Despite the stick--which for the first time ever enabled me to get apples near the top (but not at the top) of the tree--I gathered only 14 kilograms of apples, which is to say about 130 apples. They produced 7 litres of juice, so now I know how much juice to expect per kilo. We may try for another 2 litres next weekend, collecting the remaining apples as they fall. On the other hand, we may not, as Benedict Ambrose looked very tired at the thought.
As usual, B.A. wore the green boiler suit he got from the Head Gardener at the Historical House some years ago. The green boiler suit is a sign that B.A. means to get right down to work, possibly in solidarity with the Workers. I feel that if General Kościuszko were alive in Scotland today, he would put aside the lovely white coat of the peasant and don the green boiler suit. At any rate, when I got home from the beach, B.A. was in his boiler suit and had already sterilised the fermentation bin and screwed the apple press to a wooden pallet beside the veggie trug.
B.A. cut up a bowl of apples while I was out getting more, but I managed to weigh them all anyway. We had a lot of trouble with our big food processor, which I mention because we checked this very blog to see if and how we fixed the problem last year. Sadly, I didn't go into that much detail. For the sake of next year, we have all the pieces, and we saw it had a 13 A fuse, and we simply don't know why it doesn't work. (Could it have been the fuse? We didn't try replacing that.) B.A. even took the food processor downstairs to ask the neighbour, which shows how humble and sensible he is--actually asking another man for directions, as it were--but the neighbour was no longer in. So in the end we used the small food processor. I chopped, and B.A. ground. We filled a wash tub and two bowls with apple bits: