Saturday, October 6, 2012
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th Octoer 2012 saw SCAN return to Lower Shaw Farm for two days of apple-related activities. The centre of attention was the process of washing, chopping, scratting and pressing apples (and other fruit) to make juice, but there was also apple eating (in a variety of forms), apple juggling, apple poetry and apple stories.
Here the storyteller tells a tale of a little red house with no windows and no doors and a star inside.
It's a good idea to wash the apples first.
These apples came from the orchard at the Richard Jefferies museum.
We've found that cutting apples into quarters allows the teeth of the scratter to get a good grip on them. Whole or halved apples just don't seem to have enough angles and bounce around on top of the teeth, whereas chopping the apples any finer doesn't seem to give any extra benefit. Be sure to remove the stalks at this stage, otherwise they can damage the muslin bag inside the press. Pips and cores can be left in though.
The scratter mashes the quartered apples up to maximise the amount of juice produced.
All the kids wanted to try turning the handle, although some found it hard work.
The mashed-up apples are put into a muslin bag inside the barrel of the press, and then turning the handle of the press pushes a plate down onto the top of the bag to squeeze the juice out.
The juice runs through the bag and collects in the channel in the base of the press and is then funneled into a waiting container.
Lower Shaw Farm donated some grapes from their vine to add variety.
If you put apples and grapes into the press, what comes out? Grapple juice of course!
This family put a vitamin C tablet into each of their bottles to stop their juice going brown. Oxidation is what causes apple flesh to turn brown when it's exposed to the air, and vitamin C is an antioxidant.
The pulp left over after the apples have been pressed was saved for feeding to the Lower Shaw Farm pigs. Although it seems that the chickens rather like it too!
The storyteller entertaining the kids and some 4 week old ducklings.
The cafe kept everyone sustained with apple cakes and apple and parsnip soup.
For best results, follow these tips when storing your apples:
- pick them carefully, bruised apples will not keep
- find somewhere cool to put them
- wrap the fruit singly in kitchen paper (or even newspaper) and place carefully into boxes or trays
- spread them out a little so they do not touch