Apple Cider Challenge

September 21, 2016 – December 20, 2016

✔ 1. The virtues of apple juice seem almost endless: it tastes good, it’s a natural sweetener for those trying to reduce their consumption of processed sugars, and it’s an easy source of Vitamin C in the winter. It’s said to aid digestion and, when consumed in the morning, to increase body performance all day. That old adage about “an apple a day” seems to apply even to liquified apples!

Read a book with a fruit or vegetable in the title or on the cover (must be visible in the GR thumbnail; post the cover) OR a book that boosts your mood in some way.

The Girl at the Center of the World by Austin Aslan

✔ 2. Commercial apple juice is strained to remove all sediment, pasteurized, and diluted to a particular sugar concentration, called a Brix. Preservatives are often added as well before bottling. Compare that to the cider you take home from the local mill, which has nothing added or subtracted: it’ll be richer and darker in appearance not to mention better-tasting and more aromatic than the pale, clear stuff sold in supermarkets.

Read a book that seems to fit a standard formula OR a book with a X somewhere in the title or author’s name.

Alice on Board by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

✔ 3. Every autumn, billions of apples fall from branches of thousands of wild and abandoned trees, tumbling onto roadsides, pouring down hills, and rotting on the ground. All you have to do is locate a fraction of these tons of fruit which go to waste each year in abandoned orchards or on public land and you won’t even have to pay for the apples!

Read a book that someone else discarded OR a book that you previously abandoned.

Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts

✔ 4. Blemished, bruised, and/or undersized apples don’t sell well at the farmstand or in the produce department, but they make wonderful cider. Try asking commercial growers if you can clean such apples off the ground for them.

Read a book that you got for free OR a book with an unattractive cover.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

✔ 5. Late-ripening varieties of apples, like Red and Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Northern Spy, and Rome Beauty generally produce cider with a better flavor than those apples that ripen early. For even better flavor, blend several varieties together.

Read a book by an author whose first AND last initials can be found in one of the apple varieties named OR a book originally published in October of any year.

Tumbling by Caela Carter

✔ 6. To ensure that the apples are mature, don’t start to collect them until they are ripe enough to fall from the trees on their own. Don’t wait too long, though, after they’ve fallen, or you’ll lose out to the local birds, deer, raccoons and other critters.

Read a book with some sort of wild animal on the cover OR a book by an author who has published at least 10 books.

Amish Vampires in Space by Kerry Nietz

✔ 7. Plan to have plenty of boxes, baskets, bags or other containers on hand when you begin to gather your apples. It takes a bushel of apples to make two to three gallons of cider, so if you plan to make a lot of cider, you’re going to need a lot of containers.

Read a book with an intact “23” in its total number of pages OR a book with a container of some sort on the cover.

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

✔ 8. After you have collected your apples, be sure they’re reasonably free of dirt, insecticides, mold, and other impurities. Now it’s time to take the whole mess to an old-fashioned cider mill.

Read a book with a cluttered cover OR a book that takes place before the advent of telephones, cars, etc.

The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

✔ 9. If you have an abundant supply of other fruits, you might want to experiment and mix them in with your apples. Grapes, pears, and pitted peaches all make delicious cider variations!

Read a book with at least two different genres on its main GR page (for example, mystery and historical; tell us the genres) OR a book written by two or more authors.

Those Left Behind and Better Days by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, and Will Conrad

✔ 10. Because of the long hours in a relatively short period of time, not to mention the high cost of owning and maintaining the machinery, cider mills have been closing down across the country in recent years. Industry leaders guess that there may be only around 300 still in operation, concentrated mostly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Washington.

Read a book in which a business closes (permanently, not a temporary shutdown) OR a book set in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan or Washington (state); tell us the state.

Potions and Paper Cranes by Lan Fang, translated by Elisabet Titik Murtisari

✔ 11. Once you have that delicious juice safely in your containers, you need to keep it cold or drink it within a few days. Without added preservatives to retard the growth of micro-organisms, pure apple cider will begin to ferment in about a week if refrigerated – much sooner if not kept cold.

Read a book set in a location that is cold more often than not OR a short book.

Huntress by Malinda Lo

✔ 12. If it is stored in an airtight container, its sugars will gradually be converted into alcohol, and the sweet cider will then become hard cider, a favorite drink of our forefathers. In fact, it was the USA’s national beverage up to about 1850.

Read a book with a character who works in/owns a bar OR a book with a sweet character who turns hard/bitter by the end of the book.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

✔ 13. Freezing is not only easier than canning, but preserves the cider’s fresh flavor better. When you fill jugs for freezing, be sure to allow room for the liquid to expand as it freezes (at least four inches at the top).

Read a book from a series that has not yet ended OR a book with a beverage of some sort on the cover.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

✔ 14. To can fresh apple cider, plastic containers won’t do: glass is a must. It’s possible to put up cider in regular one-quart canning jars, but unless you’ve been stockpiling them for decades you’ll probably run out well before putting up your last quart of juice. A better idea is to use half-gallon or one-gallon glass jugs (the kind that you buy vinegar or cider in at the supermarket). You’ll also need some rubber-lined lids to cap the filled containers.

Read a book that was originally published at least a decade ago OR a enough half-step books to equal 150+ pages.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? by Ellen Emerson White

✔ 15. Once you’ve acquired the necessary jugs and their lids, canning the cider is really easy! Empty the cider into a large pot, heat almost to boiling, rinse the glass containers then warm them in a low oven (to prevent the glass from cracking during the next step), and ladle the steaming cider into the jugs. To seal the jugs, simply screw the lids firmly into place before the batch of juice has a chance to cool. Set your filled containers in a cool, dark place and tada! You’re done!

Read a book with a glass object of some sort (not a window, but something like a jar, vase, wine glass) on the cover OR a book with a night scene on the cover.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Challenge hosted by The Challenge Factory.