As fall weather turns cold, it forces apples on the trees to make the final conversion of sugars. Then, its time to press. For Mormon pioneers, apple pies were a nice indulgence, but the main purpose of the crop was for cider and cider vinegar. Brigham Young's daughter Clarissa remembered his cellar in the orchard, where large barrels of hard cider mellowed through the winter.
Last weekend we went to the pioneer village and helped press cider. Here are some photos from that process.
One of the main points of interpretation for the visitors was that apples have yeast on their skins, so any juice from crushed apples will begin fermenting immediately. It was a surprise to many that "juice" was not a common beverage, but instead hard cider. Someone asked "What's the difference between juice and cider?" Shannon replied, "About a week." A French woman asked about this seeming contradiction to Mormon doctrine. I explained that all religions experience change; just as Vatican II under Pope John Paul revolutionized the practice of Catholicism, Mormonism today is much different than Mormonism historically.