Then there's the Syrian refugee crisis, which really doesn't have much to do with food except that I know many of those people are probably starving, or don't know where their next meal will come from. As a mother, my heart breaks every time I see parents carrying their children in the hope of a better life, or a life at all, considering the violence they're fleeing. Those poor babies, and I have no idea how to help them.
All of this is making me realize that I should be grateful for everything that I have, because it's a lot. And part of being grateful is to make the most use of what I have.
When our friends gifted us all of the apples from their tree the other day, HusbandX and I started planning out how we would make the most use of it. The first thing he wanted to do was to make hard cider. My dad and brother had made a sort of cider press a few years ago, when the apple tree they had was ridiculously prolific. Unfortunately, the tree was too prolific and killed itself by splitting in half due to the weight of the apples. They've got a new tree now, but it's young and doesn't produce as much yet, so they only got to use the press once before now.
Apples from our friends. The worms got their share first.
The shreds, the homemade press, and finally the cider in the carboy, starting its ferment.
The pressed fruit at the end was, unfortunately, pretty useless to us. If we knew someone with chickens we would have gladly saved it and given it to them, but as it is it all went into the compost.
The cores, on the other hand, are perfectly usable. Any that weren't wormy were saved. Some of them went into jars to become scrap apple vinegar.
Scrap apple vinegar, fermenting in the pantry alongside all of my already-preserved items.
The start of apple jelly.
We still have a giant bag of apples left, and the same neighbor who gave me the plums has offered me as many wormy apples as I'd like to pick off her tree so I think I'll take her up on it. What we have left will be made into soft (non-alcoholic) apple cider, applesauce, and apple butter.
Naturally, we will be sharing the fruits of our labors with the friends who've helped us and given us their apples.
We went out with an aunt this evening and when we told her what we'd been up to she remarked, "Well, at least you'll eat very well this winter!" It's true, and I'm so thankful for it.