Cider pressing with Andy’s family at their property on Vashon Island is my absolute favorite fall tradition. While it’s only a short ferry ride from Seattle, Vashon feels like a peaceful and remote retreat, far from the noise and bright lights of the city. After talking about it for years, this year Andy and I finally managed to spend the weekend in the Birdhouse - a tiny off-the-grid cabin nestled amid the old-growth maples. We got a late start Saturday morning, but still arrived on Vashon with plenty of time to wander around town, exploring main street and stocking up on pastries, tea, coffee, and cider. After all our drinking and window shopping, we loaded all our goodies into our packs for the short hike down to our home for the night. It was surprisingly cold in the Birdhouse, but our toasty sleeping bags kept us plenty warm!
Sunday morning, we gathered for the annual cider pressing. After another hot, dry summer, we had an impressive crop of apples. Rather than picking them from the trees, we eventually resorted to simply shaking the apples off the old, gnarled tree limbs. With each shake, apples rained down onto the tarps we placed to collect them, and onto the heads of anyone who got too close. There were so many apples that we ran out of containers before they’d all been picked, and unlike last year, Andy and I came home with over a gallon of cider divided into various containers. Paired with a bit of rum, it makes for the perfect drink for a fall evening!