Sunday, 18 October 2009

Happy Apple Day

Today is Apple Day and up and down the UK events are being held to celebrate the taste, uses and diversity of what is often only seen as a simple fruit.

Here in Devon this seems to be centred around celebrating cider. So we went to Cockington with its rare apple trees, Victorian cider press and annual food and craft fair. We took on the tents of the food and craft fair where free samples of cider flowed freely. We don't drink so we had to say no but we did buy a half pint of a nice vintage for my Dad who is coming to visit tomorrow.

Stephen bought some fudge and I managed to find some good autumn grub - I came home with a squash and some sweetcorn. Then it was time to go over the the cider press to watch it go to work.

Everyone, it seems, had got there ahead of us and the railings where already crowded with people. We stood watching juice being bottled and apple pockets being cooked waiting for it to drop.

Then we noticed the rangers starting to move. There was elbowing and whispering. Things where getting exciting.

A man bravely stepped up, trying to move the stiff antique crank.

Followed by a second man...

Then a third...

Then two men at once...

Then three...

And the juice, finally, was flowing into the blue bucket.

We bought a bottle of the freshly pressed juice and then headed back over to the food tent for lunch. There was - incredibly - an all-vegetarian food stand. So I warmed my fingers and my tummy on a cone of vegetable curry and a samosa. It was yummy.

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