Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Call to Wassail!

Just found this great website, United States of Cider, and they've announced two weeks of wassail celebrations. January 5 to 17th?? Well,we have just about three days left so hop to it! I myself will head out to Indian Ladders, maybe...or somewhere else nearby. Anyone in the Hudson Valley have anything planned? How about you all at Cider Alliance? Tell you what: Indian Ladders Farms, this Friday January 17th at 2 pm. I will be at the main store parking lot with cider. Even if it is just me, I will take a turn around the orchards, and some photos, and bless a tree or two...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Search of the Lost Orchard: Andy Brennan and Aaron Burr Cider

This really great profile from Edible Manhattan writer David Flaherty, on Andy Brennan and his Aaron Burr Cider, is a delight. Brennan's enterprise came about when he wanted to recreate an orchard he loved in childhood in Maryland; it had been razed and he'd been heartbroken. He moved with his wife to the Hudson Valley and bought some land that had about a dozen old apple trees; he planted a few more. A bumper crop of fruit soon after he moved there moved him to press them into cider, it was delicious, and everything clicked.
Brennan's hard work and purist ethic regarding the brewing process (unlike the dubious addition of artificial sweeteners employed by some of the amateur cider makers at Franklin County's Cider Days) makes him a model of craftsmanship in brewing and a visionary in the cider Renaissance. The fact that Brennan was inspired by an orchard he loved and lost is testament to the passion and drive that modern food and farm enthusiasts bring to the table.
I also love that Brennan has the same name as the hapless, gentle sheriff's deputy in Twin Peaks, which celebrates its 25 year anniversary this year...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tis the season for Wassailing!

This lodge in England is trying an ancient custom for the first time: wassailing their orchards to bless the apple crop. Wassailing has undergone a bit of a renaissance in England in recent years,and even a few orchard owners in the US have given it a try. With this winter's harsh cold, it certainly isn't a bad idea to send some positive energy to the apple trees... This blog has offered some historical background on wassailing before; check it out!