apple press day

For the last three years our dear friends Sarah, Ben, Daisy and Milly, open up their home and ancient apple press for a real community day of apple pressing. Today was that day.
Sarah and Ben live in a gorgeous old farm house
and it creates the perfect back-drop to the whole experience.
Its always in October and for some reason, the sun is always shining on this day.
First, Sarah's dad looks through the apples and checks whether there are any that are too far gone to be consumed.
Next, we wash the apples.
Then we give them to Chris who puts each one through the 'mulcher' (not sure that's the technical term).
Zac carrying the mulch to the press.
The base of the press is concrete (i think). On top of that is a wooden, lattice layer, then a sheet of hessian which is filled with the 'mulch' of apples. There are six or seven of these layers which go in each 'pressing' session.
Steve and Rich put lots of effort into winding down the press which squeezes down onto the apples and brings out gallons of gorgeous juice.
The juice is then poured into a giant container and decanted (in this case by Ben and his dad) into..
Empty milk cartons. Hundred's of them! This was just the first three.
While Zac played in the stream..
our girls spent all day 'hanging out', drinking apple juice and generally having a great time.
There is always an amazing spread of food.
Everyone seems to arrive with a cake (many with an apple theme)
and Sarah and Ben cook their own pig for hot pork rolls.
There is pork, cheese, and apples everywhere you look.
I have heard a rumour that Richard is cooking a mulled apple juice recipe for tonight as we are going to a camp fire at another friend's house. I am very excited to try it. I think Tracey will post the recipe in a couple of blog posts time so watch this space!