Using {all} of your Apples

“The cellar began to have its winter smell of apples and preserves.
After all the perfect apples had been picked,  Almanzo and Royal could shake the trees.
They shook the trees with all their might, and the apples came rattling down like hail.
They picked them up and threw them into the wagon. These were cider-apples.”
-Farmer Boy

The Autumn wind is whipping the damp laundry, once hung so neatly on the line, into a messy tangled line. Colored leaves are swirling about the green fields and the smell of fall is in the air.

…. there is the comforting aroma of homemade apple cider, warming on the woodstove … the incredible mixture of cinnamon and apple slices all tucked up gently into a warm pie in the oven … dusted with sprinkles of white sugar … the tucking away of homemade apple cider vinegar in the Provision Room … October is just wonderful. It is one of my favorite months, to be sure.


After all, who does not love apple season?

Every time we drive down our country road, I keep my eyes searching for loaded {free for the picking} apple trees. Many times, we have pulled our big truck over, unloaded the girls and buckets (after asking permission, if a land owner is available) and loaded up on apples. I have used these apples for many things … apple cider vinegar, apple cider, applesauce, apple butter, and apple pie filling, apple syrup …  and of course,  we are also storing apples to eat whole during the winter.

Having such canned items in the Provision Room is a must for this family. I do not think we could get through winter without having apples  or apple products in the house!


I have just finished making another 2 gallon batch of apple cider, which will turn into apple cider vinegar after some patient-waiting. Have you ever made apple cider vinegar? A dear friend of mine instructed me to use full apples, instead of scraps, to make the vinegar, as the scraps produce a watered-down version of your vinegar, she suggested. So full apples, we used.



To make apple cider vinegar, start off by pressing or juicing your apples. We used a juicer- you can find a similar one here.
Pour your juice into a glass jar, add the ACV mother a a couple tablespoons of organic cider vinegar. Cover  your jar with a cloth secured with rubberband and place in a dark, cool location for approximately six weeks. Check your vinegar periodically. I received a piece of a mother from my friend, but I have read you can take a piece of a “mother” from your organic apple cider vinegar from the store.


You can see the “mother” floating around in the cider.




Apple cider vinegar is amazing and definitely something you should keep in your pantry. It is known to remove toxins from your body,   soothe sore throats, help ease indigestion, clear away acne and blemishes on the skin, keep your animals healthy (we add it to our animals’ water), aid in losing weight, boost energy  {take a sip of it when you feel sluggish}, it can help whiten teeth and get rid of bad breath, fade bruises, and it will help control blood sugar levels.  It is amazing in so many ways! I also use it to make tinctures and fire cider.



With our excess apples, we also made apple cider to drink (which was made the same way – we just skipped adding the mother, as we will not be fermenting our batch of cider). I water bathed the jars to preserve the cider. You can read full directions for canning cider here on this very helpful website.  In some jars, I added a cinnamon stick to spice up the flavor. Just shake the jar before warming to unsettle the thicker bits of the cider.



I look forward to having some buttered popcorn and hot homemade apple cider in the middle of winter, as we gather around the cozy woodstove. It will remind me of the story of Almanzo Wilder in “Farmer Boy”. Doesn’t that just sound deliciously cozy?

 Then your apples all is gathered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and their sauce and sausage, too…”
-James Whitcombe Riley
When the Frost is on the Punkin’

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October 25, 2016 - 11:11 am

admin Thanks, Liz.
Lyndy, thank *you* for your encouragement!

October 22, 2016 - 2:27 pm

jen mmmm i just made some homemade apple cider yesterday 😀

October 20, 2016 - 9:53 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb You my dear ,are a tireless worker! Not to say you aren’t tired..but that you just keep going.. Praise the Lord for your diligence and willingness to persist in your pursuit for a God Filled healthy life for your family.. and thank you for this blog which brings blessings to all who read it. Thank you for encouragement.

October 19, 2016 - 6:43 pm

Liz Mono Cliffs trails have a lot of ancient apple orchards if you’re still looking. Also pretty in the spring.