Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween from the Little Monkey and her Little Pie Pumpkins

Monday, October 31st, 2011

project365: week forty three October 22nd, 2011 – October 28th, 2011

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

October 23rd, 2011 We’re trying to make apple cider vinegar with the scraps from our apples.   We’re following the instructions from Wild Fermentation as described here on 17 apart and here on A Somona Garden. We’ll let you know if it works, so far so good.

October 23rd, 2011 Purple Top Turnips at the Leslieville Farmer’s Market. I really like the charming tablecloths.  We have some of these in the fridge and I better figure out what to do with them soon.

 October 24th, 2011 Rebecca in the rain.

October 25th, 2011 A new roasting combination; Brussels sprouts from the farmers market and cauliflower from our good food box.  It was pretty good.

 October 26th, 2011 She paints every single day.  Her circles are very impressive.

October 27th, 2011 Muffins with cranberries, peach jam and peaches frozen in August mixed in.

October 28th, 2011 Leeks! We had these on pizza with some Ontario Potatoes, feta, and fig salad dressing that I found in the back of the fridge.  Inspired by tartelette’s gorgeous pizza.

Wordless Wednesday: Hard Apple Cider Pressing Time Lapse Video

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Here’s a fun time lapse video showing all the apples and our process from yesterday’s apple cider pressing post.  Hope you like it!

Pressing Apples and Pitching Yeast; the Hard Cider is Bubbling

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
One night back in August, our good friend Devin came over for dinner and a few drinks. We were probably talking about the barn or some other happiness and he must have forgotten who he was talking to, as he said he’d really like to make some hard cider some day.  
Well, I am incredibly impulsive and Ryan is a very good sport. So while Devin was still talking cider, I was online researching, being egged on by Well Preserved, firing off emails to arrange to go apple picking at the farm and had found a press on craigslist that we drove to pick up two nights later. Phew.

So jump ahead a month from our lovely and impulsive drive to Keswick, Ontario. We bought our amazing press from an Italian wine maker with a killer vegetable garden and now we’re at the farm.  Sigh.  The farm and its amazing apple trees that are having an amazing season in Prince Edward County.  Sigh.

We came home with 8 bushels of apples.  Home to Toronto, the racoon capital of the world. We stored the apples out on the deck so they would benefit from the cold temperature at night.  Every morning I woke up and opened 8 giant rubbermaid tubs of apples and every night I tried to remember to close them back up. Hilarity, with much broom shaking at racoons and squirrels.

Two days before cider pressing day, piles of gorgeous crab apples showed up from our old Leslieville dog park friend Susan.

Then the organic cranberries went on sale post Thanksgiving. So I bought 8 pounds.  Now we’re on to something.

So on a nice chilly Thursday morning in October, while the neighbours were all at work, Devin, Ryan, and I ate some apple crisp, set up the camera (we did all meet in film class) and started cutting apples.

So many apples.  6 bushels went towards cider, so 250 pounds in all.

Honestly, we didn’t have a clue what we were are doing despite two months of research now and a bad test run in September. 


After a ton of trouble shooting, we have the first real flow of cider!

drip, drop.

It’s pink!

It flows!

Most importantly, it’s freakin’ fantastic!

We had a hard time for the first little bit.  We needed to chop things much finer than we had thought. Next year we’ll build a grinder contraption. My poor poor food processor.  At least we had help.

Another mistake I made was that I had froze some chopped apples to protect them from the beasts.  The cold is supposed to help with the taste but they really needed to thaw before we pressed them,  Frozen apples turn into hard masses that are colder than the universe when you press them. It’s dreadful.

After some trouble shooting we finally hit on a combination of cheese cloth, pressure, non napping toddler, and unfrozen apples that led to beautiful flowing cider.

And a good time was had by all!

So after a taste, it all went in my grandfather’s carboy along with some camden tablets.  Two days later we added a champagne yeast starter and things are bubbling away happily.

The idea that started in August, led to a bunch of fun in September, is well on it’s way to fruition in October, for bottling in November, to hopefully drink and share in December. All because Devin wanted some cider.

We’ll be writing a little more about our actual process and organic / non GMO home brewing in the next few weeks but in the meantime here’s an another time lapse:  

This 3 minute video covers 8 hours of apples.  My favourite part is the oozing of apples from the first press (this should not have happened). Others like how the toddler keeps getting more clothes, how the dog is eating way too many apples and how we clearly stopped to eat lunch and dinner. What’s your favourite part?  And is there anything you want to know?

project365: week forty two October 15th, 2011 – October 21st, 2011

Friday, October 21st, 2011

October 15th, 2011 First spaghetti sauce of the season, using our very own tomatoes.

 October 16th, 2011 Penelope has some pickled chioggia beets from her aunt’s garden.

October 17th, 2011 Watching the subway pull in to the station.  This is shortly before realizing that we were underground.  Oh! Poor underground two year old.

 October 18th, 2011 Crab apples! Dropped off by Susan.  What a love surprise to find in the porch.

 October 19th, 2011 Rapini and Leeks are very perplexing.

 October 20th, 2011 Finally it is cider pressing day!  Check out the squish!

October 21st, 2011 Rebecca is hard at work making apple cider vinegar from the apple scraps.  If it works, we’ll share our process.  If it doesn’t we’ll have a very stinky basement.