Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why I like autumn

Juice doesn't get much fresher than this!
In autumn, the days start getting cooler, green leaves change to brilliant oranges, reds and yellows, and apples are harvested in the Yakima Valley.

Ah, yes, the apple harvest. What I like best about this is apple juice, fresh right out of the press. Wow! It doesn't get much better than this!

Washington apples are the best and are sold the world over. I've seen Washington apples from the Okanogan Valley sold in London, and red delicious from Wenatchee sold in Beijing, even though apples are grown extensively in China. But you can buy Chinese apples any place; finding Washington apples is a bit harder, not to mention more expensive. I found them at a fruit stand outside a major hospital where imported fruits, loose and in gift baskets, were sold.

Yesterday, we made our annual trip up to Tieton where we spent the day making apple juice. My husband's cousin has a couple of dozen apple trees -- Fujis, red and golden delicious, Granny Smith and so on, all of which go into the juice we make.

Yesterday about 30 people, ranging from toddlers to octogenarians, turned out to make juice, starting with picking the apples and ending with washing off the filled jugs. Everyone shows up with their jugs to hold the gallons of juice we make with the cousin's apple press. We made almost 200 gallons of juice in just a few hours. Each bottle tastes differently, depending on which type of apple dominated in that pressing. But it's all delicious. In return for helping the cousins make apple juice for their freezer, we get to have all the juice we want. Today our freezer is crammed with juice. Altogether, we made almost 200 gallons of juice yesterday, and also brought home a bushel box of Fuji apples.

With the days getting chillier, a cup of hot spiced cider will certainly come in handy.

What's your favorite thing about fall?

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