Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wassail

In August, but this year in July, Gravensteins:
golden fleshed, generous, kind to cook,
ciderer and ring-dryer. She tries everything,

but mostly butter: a large crockpotful
of peeled rings, quartered, lightly cloved,
cinnamoned and nutmegged will make

six pints and one short jelly jar. After
that, the old Egremont Russet, Cortland,
Honeycrisp and Jonagold come all together;

what can she do but slice them all in quarters,
toss them into her dedicated shredder,
pour pomace into a burlap bag

and hang that, with her father's pulley
and old hemp rope, to a maple branch?
Juice will run for hours, collecting

in a tub beneath; at evening she dips gold,
pouring through filter and funnel into quarts --
forty-five glass jars or more, most years.

Last, she'll think of cider (but not too much),
making in a cool jug by adding wine yeast.
In seven days or less she will sing to trees.

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