Here in Michigan, there really isn’t any such thing as a designated “seasons schedule”. Our weather is absolutely out of control. At anytime you could experience any season, possibly multiple seasons in one day. I’ve woken up to mornings where my car windows are frozen and require scraping, by noon it’s 80 degrees, and at night there’s a thunderstorm. This past winter we had days where it was -10 degrees. My pipes burst. This past summer we had days where it was 105 degrees, which would be great if we had A BEACH. All I ask for is consistency. Is that too much to ask?
One season that I do enjoy is Fall. This is the time in between Summer and Winter where the air turns brisk and the leaves change color. I don’t even know what it is about the leaves changing color that’s appealing to me. Doesn’t this mean the leaves are dying? Plus, a few days in there’s a gust of wind and we’re left with sticks until Summer. Regardless, Fall is my season.
Yesterday, Stephanie and I woke up to the following view outside of our living room window, and decided it was time to partake in some “Fall activities”.
The first thing we decided to do was make some homemade apple cider. I had gotten the idea from The Food in my Beard, where I seem to be getting all of my inspiration these days, and decided it was a good one. We headed over to Hiller’s to pick up as many apples as possible. I expected them to have the usual giant bags of apples, but I ended up having to put them in produce bags. After filling about 10 tiny bags with 30 apples total, and 20 minutes at the U-Scan, it was time to make some cider.
The first step was to take all of the cores out and do a rough chop. I don’t own one of those fancy apple core taker-outer things, so it was up to me and the Shun. I used a combination of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith apples. Sweet mixed with a bit of tart. Perfect.
If you’re going to do this with a knife, set aside some time. The following picture does the amount of apples chopped absolutely no justice. This took me about 20 minutes just to chop these up.
Next up the apples went into the food processor. I did this in cycles of about 6 apples per load. My food processor is pretty large, so I was able to do this rather quickly.
I transferred the apple mush into a separate bowl as I went. The apple much was some of the best apple sauce I’ve ever had. Seriously. Legit stuff. I was tempted to save some, but wanted to make as much cider as possible.
This is when this process just got shitty. From here, the mush needs to be transferred into a strainer covered in cheese cloth. It then should be left to be left to strain for about thirty minutes and then squeezed out to get the remaining juices. This was not fun.
The cheesecloth did it’s job, but I had to get out the hand strainer for the rest of the little pieces and pulp. I purposely did not take out all of it because it gave the cider a little more flavor. Plus, it adds a little more of that home made feel.
The cider was then transferred to a jug. Not sure how that bottle of orange vodka made it into this shot. If anything, add a little Captain Morgan or Southern Comfort to the cider. Deeeeelicious.
But it didn’t stop there. We also got our hands on some enormous pumpkins. Nothing says Fall like apple cider, carving pumpkins, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Ohhh yeah. Our inspiration for the carving came from the Pumpkin Gutter. Check that guy out, it’s pretty ridiculous.
We roasted the seeds with Cajun seasoning. Unfortunately, I took no pictures. The cider was gone at this point, and so was the rum.
We decided to eat the pumpkin guts raw. Actually, no. We didn’t do that.
Stephanie is the artist of this relationship, so she drew up the design onto the pumpkin. This is Oogie Boogie.
I don’t mess around with those pumpkin carving saws. I own the ultimate pumpkin carving tool, The Shun.
Not bad for someone whos previous pumpkin carving experience is limited to triangle eyes and smiley faces, huh?
We even had a black cat. Fall is in the air.