Steve unearthed a previously overlook treasure this weekend during his cleaning and winterizing. Can you spot it in this photo? It's right there tucked into the stump.No, it's not the pump, although that is neat too. It's smaller than that. Look closely. Yes, that is a fruit press tucked up into that corner. I have no idea how old it is, but I don't ever recall it being put to use, so it's probably older than I am. Steve tested to see if it still turned, and it did, so he set it aside. After he was done with everything else, he sat down and worked it over with a steel brush to get some of the rust off.
Here he is, doing his best Wilson impersonation. Everyone does remember Wilson, from Tim Taylor's sitcom of years ago, right? He scrubbed it up with that steel brush, and then hit it with SOS pads, and then we went down to Mom's and got two medium-sized moving boxes of apples from her
tree. She doesn't spray, so they were wormy, but we're juicing them, so it shouldn't matter. Just cut out any bad spots and squeeze the rest to mush.
We go run some errands, and then I settle down to finish some prep work for this week's classes. I had two tests to write, and a pile of homework to grade, so I wasn't paying much attention to what Steve was doing. He was in the kitchen, so I figured he was doing the dishes. It eventually dawned on me that it doesn't take that long to do the dishes, and I'd heard the tea kettle whistle, so I figured coffee was nearly done, and surface to get myself a cup.
Upon entering the kitchen, I find Steve trying to hold the press still (it's intended to be bolted down) while turning the handle. He's got a gallon of apples about squeezed down to about half their original volume. It's not an easy thing to do, and it's even harder when the thing won't hold still. So, I help by holding the handles for a little bit. Steve's working awfully hard at turning that press, and he gets the apples down to about one-third their original volume, and he's got about 2/3 of a cup of cider. Yes, that's an awful lot of work for a tiny amount of cider. We develop a plan bolting the press onto a board and clamping that to the kitchen counter for actual cider production, and head off to the living room so Steve can make his post of last night, and
I can finish my work.
This afternoon, when I come home from classes, Steve says to me, "The more I think about it, the more I think that press is a great decoration, just like it is." Now, I was pretty sure we'd end up there eventually, so I'm actually pretty impressed that he came to that conclusion before we mounted the thing on a board. We may still mount it, but now it'll be for decoration, rather than any attempt to make cider. He still wants to make cider, but I think we'll eventually purchase a press that's slightly larger and has much longer handles so we can get better leverage. So, this lovely piece of history will eventually stand on a nice wrought-iron stand and grace a corner of our kitchen.