Tag Archives: crabapple

Another country skill set

My brother came to visit last weekend. We used the guise of harvesting my crab apples to get to see each other. Last year he bought an apple press, and made the sweetest apple juice ever. It was wonderful, but could have used something to balance the sweetness. This is where my crab apple tree comes in.

My brother is a man of few words, so we’re going to have to tell this story mostly with pictures.

Start with the pretty red fruit he took to Nevada. It’s ready today, but many apples won’t be available until later this Fall. He plans on freezing the juice and holding it for later.

It may not seem like much, but if you filled these same buckets with full sized apples, you wouldn’t have as much fruit. The smaller size of these lets each bucket hold more, and the giveaway is the weight. Bigger fruit has more air between the apples.



This is his apple juicer. He bought it last year and it looks to be a quality craftsman’s product. It has much more soul than some stainless steel, motor driven product. The fruit goes into a hopper at the top of the red piece.


Here is a better view of the hopper. Load her up, turn the wheel, and make apple juice. I’m sure you could use it to juice anything you wanted, but it might flavor the equipment. This one is just for apples. (I could probably make some good catfish bait with this. A few crawdads, some crickets, just saying.)

Juice comes out the bottom and drains into a bucket.

I am surprised that the juice is red. It’s actually pretty cool that it is. It will give a charming color to any juice he adds this fall. Just imagine the awesome jelly I could make with pure undiluted juice.

He told me the flavor is tart, but very complex. That is the whole point of using it. The juice from last year was like honey. I’d really like to try a bottle of hard cider after he gets his Fall apples juiced. This juice is destined for the freezer for now.

He reported the recovery is about 10%. That isn’t horrible, but I was hoping for about 20%. The residue will go on his compost pile.

I have hunch the compost won’t stay there very long. He said a herd of mule deer invaded his yard the minute he started his apple mill. The scent must have drawn them in. They’re kind of cagey, but he managed this poor photo of a young buck as proof.

I hope the formatting works out in this post. There are more pictures than text.

My family has always been into preserving lost skills. Regular readers know about my sourdough starter, pickling crock, and canning jars. My brother even has a fully functional blacksmith’s shop.

What skills are you preserving? Do you make bent willow furniture, mud ovens, pottery? I think it’s important to save these skills for future generations.


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Coming up for air

My brother and I had a great quiet weekend. He took home multiple large buckets of crabapples. Some of you asked for pictures of what’s he’s going to do, and he promised to provide some. More on this later.

We drank beer, talked about things men, brothers in particular, would discuss. I’m the only man in this house, and his situation is similar. We drank some good craft beer too. It was a great time.

Work today was followed by critique group. It was fairly typical, three people enjoying my story, and one severe redline. The trick to critique group is to listen to the one who did the heavy markup. This is usually where improvement is made. I really enjoy the supportive remarks, but it’s usually the sour one that teaches me something. I’m going to set it aside for a few days before diving in. This doesn’t mean I want everyone to be sour, because that isn’t helpful either. It’s a mixture of opinions, and I never follow anyone blindly.

I got some good opinions on dressing up my blog. Some of you made some good suggestions. I’m going to shake things up around here, but it won’t be for a few weeks.

I received a few more reports back on my book of short stories. There are some that haven’t arrived yet, but they have several weeks available. The comments are all pretty positive, and I’m excited to release this book into the world.

Comments about Macabre Macaroni in October were almost universal: do it again. I realised that posting a bit of micro fiction could drive sales of my book. It isn’t like I’m wasting stories if they can serve a promotional purpose. Besides, people seem to enjoy them, and they are a lot of fun to write. If I post every Tuesday this year, I only need four of them. I’m doing it again, and I already wrote one. (And I really like it.) I ought to be able to come up with three more by the first Tuesday in October.

That’s it tonight. Basically it was work, critique group, cold dinner, and a few words here before bed. I’ll try to come up with something more entertaining for the next post.


Filed under Writing

Monday Night

I just finished making a few updates on The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. You guys are awesome, and I'm moved that someone already read the entire thing and sent notes. First reactions are encouraging.

Now I'm drinking a 90 Shilling ale and kicking back. I always try to post a little something on Monday nights. I hit it pretty hard this weekend and already posted about that.

In other news, there aren't many peaches this year. My tree produced a bumper crop last year, and this is expected. I picked one and ate it tonight. It was wonderful. It still has a bit of crunch, but was sweat and peachy all the way through. I may have to glean through them next weekend.

My crabapple has several tons of crab apples. I need to call my brother and see if he wants them. He bought an apple press last year, and they ought to make wonderful cider. I need about a dozen or so to make a jar of jelly. I don't need several tons.

That's about it for Monday night.


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