The Season of Cider

So, this weekend we had a number of folks over for a “cider-pressing” party.  It was a lot of fun–(nearly) everybody brought a bunch of apples.  We used my refurbished cider press, got the apples (quite the mix–mostly Cortland, with some Jonathan, Mutsu, and a handful of other types) ground up, and pressed them.  It takes quite a few apples to get a decent amount–I believe we went through about 120 pounds, overall, and got something approaching eight gallons of juice.

Most of my cider references claim that there are three important points for maximizing yield.  First, you must “sweat” the apples, letting them sit somewhere cool for a few days to a week beforehand.  This, we did not do, although most of the apples were from local farm stands–hardly “picked the day before” fresh.  Second, you have to grind them relatively finely.  Here again, we didn’t quite hit the mark, I believe; my “grinder” really does a rather coarse job.  I’ve got plans to improve it for next year…

Lastly, you have to apply sufficient pressure.  This part I believe we did, and well.  (We may have taken more time when pressing–I think if we “rest” between cranks of the screw-press, we might get more juice out.)  Still, the addition of a little brewing yeast, and it’s bubbling away happily in the living room, on its way to becoming hard cider, to drink next fall, when we (hopefully) get a lot more people, and a lot more apples…

In other news, an interesting place to look for prepping stuff would seem to be Pinterest.  My wife describes it as a “visual library”–all photos, which link back to other things.  There are quite a few explicitly “prepper” things on there, and more than a couple that could certainly be tied in without much difficulty.

One bit I found was a newspaper clipping, probably from back in the 60’s or 70’s, describing the recommendations from the Detroit Office of Civil Defense for what comprises “two weeks of food for the whole family.”  Everything was canned, which makes sense–it keeps well, and it’s easy to tell if things have gone “off” (can is bulging? toss it…).

Here’s the recommended list for a family of four (two week supply):

  • 4 lbs powdered milk
  • 8 cans evaporated milk
  • 4 cans tomato juice
  • 6 cans grapefruit juice
  • 6 cans orange juice
  • 24 cans cream soup
  • 24 cans vegetable soup
  • 16 cans consomme
  • 2 pkgs bouillon cubes
  • 2 cans salmon
  • 4 cans tuna
  • 2 pkgs instant oatmeal
  • 2 pkgs dry cereal
  • 4 cans pears
  • 4 cans peaches
  • 6 cans beef stew
  • 6 cans beef hash
  • 12 canned meats
  • 6 cans tomatoes
  • 6 cans peas
  • 6 cans corn
  • 4 cans green beans
  • 4 cans spaghetti
  • 4 cans baked beans
  • 3 lbs peanut butter
  • 12 cans bread
  • 4 cans cookies
  • 4 lbs crackers (tins)
  • 2 lbs sugar
  • 8 oz salt
  • dried prunes, apricots
  • 2 lbs cheese
  • 2 jars instant coffee
  • 2 pkgs instant cocoa
  • 2 lbs hard candy
  • 24 pkgs gum
  • 2 cartons cigarettes.

“Plenty of water” is also called for–they say 7 gallons per person.  Now, I could go lots of different ways with this list…  Personally, I’d say if you’re a smoker, you probably shouldn’t be prepping (or, at the very least, I know the first thing I’d be working on!).  So the smokes can come off the list–save the money (which, granted, is a much greater amount now) for more of something else on the list.  I’d probably swap the numbers of cans around–6 cans of green beans, 4 cans of corn–but that largely comes down to personal preference.

Then there’s things like the 12 cans of bread… I’m not sure you can get bread in “cans” anymore.  (“Instant” biscuits don’t count…)  There’s an awful lot of condensed milk there.  More than a little sugar.  Half a pound of salt!  If they were baking, they’d be set…  Except they don’t list any flour, or yeast.  How many people these days really know how to use bouillon cubes?  (I do; my wife does; I’d bet a quick survey at work would show maybe two or three people–out of over sixty–most of whom are probably “of a certain age.”)

Then there’s the surrounding commentary–definitely a sign of the times.  They’re quite worried about radioactive fallout–even to the extent of advising “wiping down the cans before you open them.”  Broadly speaking, good advice–but if your stored food is getting dusted with fallout, you’ve got other issues…

I’ll dig around, see what else there is to see, and (as always) report back next week.  Be safe out there!


About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
This entry was posted in Collapse, Critical Thought, Food, Gear, Lists, Planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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