In a few weeks, it will have been ten years since I graduated high school. It all feels a little surreal that a decade has passed since classes, assignments and friendship dramas that we thought we would leave behind. That notion of life suddenly being incredibly different because we no longer had a schedule of classes to attend was naive and yet we probably all believed it. I remember thinking I likely wouldn’t see some of the awful people I didn’t like running into ever again and for the most part that has been true (it’s hard when you live thousands of miles from your hometown).
We thought we would be different and our future would be too and it seems odd to think that I have done exactly what I had planned mostly for myself. Some friends had children (unplanned, though they adore them) and others are still studying for career plans to live their life with meaning. Others talked of grand adventures in foreign lands and they have barely left once. Some have lost loved ones and their strength and laughter make the world a brighter place.
Life goes on and somehow it never seems to last as long as I ever thought it would. I always thought my high school years would be the best of my life despite being overweight and miserable for most of them with more family dramas then I cared and no license to get away. But I was wrong and it is surprising how little high school can come to define life within a few short years of exiting those gates for the last time.
Making non alcoholic apple cider takes time and that means you start pondering life after ten years of no school. This is the kind of recipe you can take the lid off and cook uncovered with little attention until it’s ready to remove and strain, but before that you have to stir and make sure it doesn’t boil over consistently.
This recipe was made ahead of wanting to try apple butter pie which I needed to make apple butter for which needed apple cider. Needless to say I don’t live in America and it seems I could not find either of these ingredients anywhere so I made them (it’s worth it). So ahead of next week’s Thanksgiving recipe, give this a go and drink warm to heat up in this cooling weather because it’s a great treat.
Homemade Apple Cider
Adapted from Food.com
8 medium gala apples, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
2 large or 4 medium cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons whole allspice
Place the apples (skin and seeds included) and water in a pot and add enough water to cover.
Add the sugar, cinnamon sticks and the allspice held in a tea egg.
Heat on high and boil covered for an hour.
Lower to medium heat and simmer covered for a further 2 hours.
Cook on a simmer uncovered for a further 2 hours.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Once cool remove the allspice and cinnamon sticks and blend to blend until smooth.
Strain the puree, allowing the liquid to drip free for a minimum 15 minutes, stirring to ensure all the liquid has drained off.
Pour into a container or bottle and refrigerate.
To serve, heat low to medium heat for approximately 3 minutes or until simmering.
Serve warm with a cinnamon stick.