Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Making Apple Cider & My first homemade gift ideas!

Making Apple Cider.

I love fall! As I have stated in a previous post. This is a bitter sweet post. You see we are about to sell the home we have lived in for our entire 15 year marriage. It was my husbands first home. Over the last 25 years, he has planted many trees, including 3 apple trees. 1 Braeburn, 1 Golden Delicious and a 5 in 1 that only produces Golden Delicious and Granny Smith(my favorite). It is also supposed to produce Red Delicious and 2 others we don't remember, but it rarely does. But that's okay with me because we get really large Granny Smiths that I often make into caramel apples that I turn into Chocolate and nut covered confections, or pie filling!
This is our trees in bloom this spring.

This year we had a great crop from those trees. I made 19 quarts of apple pie filling and many pints of apple sauce.

We have so many left that we decided to make cider with the rest.

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If you have never tried freshly pressed apple cider, you really should. There is no better apple flavor out there. I have scoured the internet to build a wonderful Pinterest board full of apple cider drinks, foods and baked goods that will keep you busy trying new ones for years!

Everyone gets some apple mash.
The girls love it!

Gary(DH) Has made cider using this press since the early 80's.
It is getting a makeover soon.

Total Cider the first day: 3 Gallons.
Total Cider 13.5 Gallons.

This is what
Gary pressed, 10.5 Gallons, on Day 2.

We had a great time making cider with the apples from our home on the cape. It is so much work. Hard back paining work. It is so worth it.  :)  Thank goodness it is only once a year  :) Here is a video on our YouTube Channel, if you would like to see how it is done, It takes many Apples to make gallons of apple cider.

 We are so happy the trees are mature and producing beautiful apples. It is sad that we won't be benefiting from them anymore, but so happy that someone else will. Visit Cape Cod Mini Homestead For Sale, to see the description of our home.

It takes a long time to grow a tree to maturity. Once it starts to produce, it is the best thing in the world. I am so excited that we will get to plant all new varieties here on the homestead. It will be years before we will see the kind of crops we got this year.  I guess we will have to go to one of the pick your own apple orchards that abound in New England. We are so lucky to live in a part of the country that can grow so many types of apples. Thank you Johnny Appleseed!

I plan on taking some of the cider to our family in MA over the Thanksgiving holiday, and making some wonderful recipes from my Pinterest board.  We will share some with neighbors too. I love to give gifts to friends and family when we have an abundance of anything.

My first homemade gift ideas.

My gift list for Christmas this year is mostly for family and neighbors. Now that we have moved to Maine, our circle has shrunk to a smaller size. I don't want to say it, but I find it much more manageable.  Even though I make all my gifts, I still have to take the time to do it.

My time is also a part of the gifts. I do a lot of canning through the year, and I utilize those as gifts of food for everyone on my list. I also do a lot of crocheting, and sewing and crafting. Let's not forget the baking and candy making. It is exhausting just typing all of this.

If you are still reading this...Thank you   :)

My list of completed gifts is growing daily. I have finished scarves and gift bags made from chicken feed bags and cloth( pattern and directions available soon) as well as a few batches of cookie dough, all portioned out and frozen ready to bake at a moments notice.  I have to tell you how much stress it takes off of you to have the dough made and ready to go.

My next few projects will include loaves of pumpkin bread and apple bread.  Peanut-butter cups, Coconut almond dark chocolate bars( think almond joy bars), and Peppermint bark. Homemade peppermint and Vanilla Extracts and some awesome Peppermint lip balm (with bees wax I bartered for over the summer  :)

I hope this gives you a few ideas,(many more ideas on my Pinterest boards) and you go into this Christmas season with a warm heart and a warm kitchen full of goodies you have made for family and friends.

Peace. Love. Joy


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