Monday, 7 October 2013
What's that brown murky stuff in the bottle? The clue is in the post's name. And the apple sitting next to the bottle. But it doesn't bear much resemblance to the "authentic" cloudy apple juice you buy, does it? But it really is apple juice. I saw it being made and can vouch for its authenticity.
What rural idyll do I live in, that I see apple juice being made? SE24, that's where. Between Brixton and Dulwich. But actually, our street has turned into a bit of an idyll of late. We started a Play Out here at the beginning of the summer, and it's now the highlight of my week.
We close the street to traffic between 3.30 and 6.30 every Friday, after school, to let the kids play. And play they do. Even in the rain. They all go a bit feral, cycling up and down as fast as their little wheels will carry them.
But the real revelation is the parents. We LOVE it. Whether our children are out with us, or have escaped back indoors to watch telly, we're all on the street, having a natter, catching up on news, exchanging gossip. And it's not just women. Loads of men/fathers are out there too. It's the first time I've seen a game of competitive hopscotch. Three fathers played it properly for about two hours and it was a revelation to see how tricky it is.
And the cakes. Every week someone brings out a batch of freshly baked something. Warm Magdalenas, sticky apple cake, some rice crispy cakes.
Last week was a triumph. Our neighbour managed to get hold of an apple press (thanks Twitter!) so we let everyone know to bring their apples. We spent the weekend before visiting friends who had apple trees and taking their surplus. On the day we had cookers, crab apples and rosy eating apples - a great cocktail. Several hours of pummelling, juicing, and then hosing resulted in bottles and bottles of apple juice. It was ambrosial. Children chugged it like there was no tomorrow, adults sipped it and discussed what we will add to make it cider. We are hoping to have another Play Out in a few weeks, fuelled by the street-made cider, while we line our tummies with bangers in buns, cooked on a brazier in the street. I will report back.
Posted by Claire Mcdonald at 09:40