Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hot Cider And Firewood

We must be approaching 10 cords of wood cut and split this fall.  That's the most wood I have processed in a long time.  It's good to be able to get out in the fields and cut wood.  It's even better to have the energy to be able to do it.

I do need a good firewood cutting buddy though, hopefully younger and more mechanical than I am.  My sons are so busy they don't have time to help dear old dad so I beg and borrow and steal just like my dad did.

I stuck my saw into one of those ash logs yesterday and the chain went instantly dull.  Sparks flew off like it was petrified.  They don't make cutting chain like they use to but the same thing happened 40 years ago!  Catching wood in the right state to cut is a wood cutter's task, there are days to plant days to not and days to cut and days and days to burn!

The electric bill should be low this month and the propane needle hasn't moved from all this firewood activity.  We have our energy useage down to a formidable challenge.  I know what it takes to heat and cool this 1880 house now affordably, all 330 square foot of her.

I tried a new hot cider recipe tonight.  It got thumb's up from the head cook.  I put allspice, cloves, brown sugar, a pinch of nutmeg and a whole sliced orange into the basket of the coffee maker.  I poured in 2 quarts of apple cider and let it brew.  You could tell by the smell it was going to be good but the taste was even better!

I picked up a ton of wood pellets for the Countryside stove on sale at TSC for Black Friday, less than $4 per bag.  Of course they were selling the low bidder so I don't know what I bought but I will soon find out.  It is a hardwood pellet made by American Wood Fibers out of Columbia, Maryland.  They claim the world's largest wood chipper and wood flour maker.  I never heard it called wood flour before, I think they mean sawdust.

We made the trip southeast last night for my sister's birthday.  It's been too long since we have been there but everyone is so busy in their own lives today.  Her principal came into her classroom yesterday to annouce she was 72!  Yes, he is still alive but you know about paybacks.  He kept asking if the class had sang to her yet and they were confused so they started chanting something about passing their math requirement!  I thought that was pretty funny and priceless.  I think some students won some brownie points!

It was good to see Lisa and Joshua and Fred.  My neice is a principal herself now so our family keeps advancing in the field of education!  It's good to be outstanding in your field!

Today is another great day to be out standing in my fields, so I better get to it.

Have a great day!

Ed

4 comments:

  1. Hot cider, mulled wine, it's that season again! I made applejack at about the same time last year: Got 2 1-gallon glass jugs of apple juice that got bad, Safeway refunded them to me but I got to keep them. So I made mulled wine instead, and let the apple juice ferment until it stopped, and distilled it using a water distiller I had. Got the bottom of a bottle left, I use it only for cooking or desserts, still very flavorful but it doesn't give out flames for flambé for as long as it used to.

    Apple products such as applejack or even cider (the real one, not the flavored apple juice drink) are almost impossible to find in the U.S. I can find only one brand of cider in my local supermarket, and it's hard cider so diluted with water that it has no consistency and flavor, just the "hard" part of its name. They managed to turn a great natural product into some apple Budweiser, a far cry from the delicious English ciders or the French bottled ciders.

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  2. My former student, actually in my first class of students is Rau Adae. He makes the best cider in these parts. Unfortunately, he had a very poor crop and is already closed for the season and has been for weeks.

    That orange really gave the zing to the cider. We will do that again. We don't have quite 2 quarts left for another brew but I think our Kroger store still has apple cider. It wasn't Rau's but it wasn't too bad.

    Ed

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  3. Add coriander (cilantro seeds) to that, it goes well with orange peel.Mace, cardamom and a bit of grated ginger would make interesting ciders too.

    I read a whole book on mead last week-end, I'd like to brew some one day. It used to be the dink of the nobility in the Middle Ages, but don't we all live like nobles these days compared to them? ;)

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