Archive for the ‘apples’ Category

When Eric and I were making the apple sauce, we decide to start our first ever apple vinegar with the peels and core.


Brigitte, at My Herb Corner blog, had shared her recipe for making vinegar. (Make sure and look further at her blog, as she did nice updates as her vinegar went along). We followed her directions. We made one in the crock with the peelings etc and then I also left a bit of unpasturized apple cider in a bottle, uncapped with cheesecloth on top, side by side with the crock. The juice bottle formed a mother, as did the crock! When I first looked in the crock I saw moldy spots on top of the mother, so I just took her out, rinsed her gently in warmish water, strained the vinegar  into a jar, added back the mother and now we have about a quart of homemade raw apple vinegar!


In the following picture you can see the vinegar from the crock in the canning jar to the left and the jar to the right is the juice vinegar. In the bowl is both mothers:)


This week I was gifted with many green tomatoes


I have made one batch of green tomato chutney, following this recipe my friend Anne shared with me. Now I will be able to use my own raw vinegar in this recipe and also, to start more vinegar with the apple peelings from making the chutney;-)


Big hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages:) Special thanks to Brigitte for starting me on our vinegar making adventures, and thanks to Anne for the chutney recipe:)


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One of the things that always says fall is here to me is apples. My brother Eric and I have a friend in our beekeeping group, Rick Camp, who owns an apple orchard farm not too far from us. One Saturday we decided to go our and watch Rick, with the help of his family, make apple cider. Now Camp Grove Orchard apple cider is the best cider I have ever had in my life folks, so I was real excited about this! LOL Rick and Tammy’s orchard is located down a picturesque country road located at Roseville,IL.


Camp Grove Orchard

373 105th St.
Roseville, IL 61473
Warren County
Phone: (309) 774-4244
Open: September – November; Wednesday/Thursday 5-7pm, Friday 1-7pm, Satruday/Sunday 10-5pm
Directions: East of Roseville 6 miles on highway 116 then 3 miles south on 105th St.
Description: Apples, Cider, Honey, Pumpkins & Gourds

They have so many types of apples!

Apples: Yellow Delicious, Red Delicious, Arkansas Black, Jonagold, Jonamac, Jonalicious, Winesap, Empire, Paula Red, Rome, Ida Red, Jonathan, Suncrisp. Coming soon: Honeycrisp, Snow Sweet, Jonared, Fuji, Gala, Sweet Sixteen, Granny Smith, Candycrisp, Lindamac, Smoothie.

The whole family is just as nice as can be and let us wander around the orchard checking it all out. Here are some pictures of the apple cider press in operation,

The apples to be pressed are first put in this big vat of water with a bit of bleach in it. I do the same thing before I process my apples.


Then they are drained and loaded on the conveyor belt


The machine then mashes them all up, separating the bulk from the juice. Rick then takes stacks of the bulk and puts it in a wheelbarrow to be used as compost.






The strained off juice is piped to big stainless steel storage vats to be then bottled


The amount of moisture in the air from all this processing surprised me, although it shouldn’t have, as I get the same effect in my kitchen while processing fruit!

Eric and I then walked around exploring their orchard and their beehives. There were some old apple trees that were just growing the way you normally see an apple tree, but the new ones they have planted, were all espaliered.








It was great fun learning how apple cider is made and best of all… I took home a couple gallons of this tasty cider and a couple pounds of their honey:)


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