it takes as long as it takes

We live in a busy world, and London is busy squared. Its amazing how easy you get used to things being on tap, I can buy Lemongrass from Thailand at 2am at the supermarket; people get properly angry if they miss a train and have to wait 2 mins for another; I can buy a pizza online and the website keeps me updated while someone one makes it for me and the brings it to my house (as if knowing what stage of production my pizza is helps with getting it to my door faster).

But now I'm waiting. I have 70l of cider in my kitchen thats refusing to do much but sit there. Its weird how much it gets to you. I'm trying to restrict lifting the lid and peering inside or giving the containers an encouraging shake, but its hard. After all it should be doing something. It should have been doing something days ago. All the books said it should. The mighty internet said it should. It did last time I tried. 2 days ago one of the demijohns cranked into life and lazily started producing some bubbles. but the rest, well they just sat there.

And this is after a summer of waiting. My trees are still a little little, My little orchard produced 8 little apples this year. Not quite the foundations of the empire I'm hoping to build. So I took to the lanes round Newton Abbott and started hunting. Finding apples in Devon is not too hard. A morning jog, peering over hedgerows and up hillsides yielded a few prospects, beautiful old trees, the varieties long forgotten, bending under the weight of apples. A few friends also chipped in with apples from the garden and I was set. But apples are ready when they are ready. Our initial weekend for picking was pushed back as apples stayed resolutely on tree's.

But eventually last week they decided to drop and I had a great weekend climbing trees, shaking boughs and collecting apples. On steep Devon hillsides the apples do sometimes fall far from the tree and a lot of time was spent chasing little squads of windfalls as they bounced down the hill. All the while clouds scudded across the sky, threatening rain, teasing with a few splashes here and there but always holding off while the late autumn sun occasionally managed to break through and send rays to the fields.

We stored most of the apples and pressed the bruised, the battered and the ones collected from gardens in previous weeks, and that has led to the impasse in my kitchen. There are some signs of life in the 25l barrel but we'll see what tomorrow brings. somethings can't be hurried.


  1. I like your point about waiting… its an important part of cider and cidermaking that doesn't suit modern life. Its not like beer that you can assemble whenever you want. Ciders quiet charm (and power) is why people are falling in love with it again: it forces us to wait. Modern life has reverted us to childhood impatience but a healthy dose of seasonality slows us down and forces us contemplate natures at her own pace. Long live foraging for apples and wild fermentation!

  2. you're right Bill, its nice to have something thats resolutely seasonal to bring you back to reality!


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