Monday, October 16, 2006

Gone to the cider mill: The Skillet Lickers

Autumn has finally arrived here in Viginia. The days have cooled off enough that you can stand still outside without breaking a sweat and the nights are downright chilly. This time of year brings back memories of my younger days when we would all head up the hill to the apple orchard on the outskirts of town. After having our fill of fresh-picked beauties we would fill a few bushels to take to the cider press in the barn.

Oh, the aroma in that old barn! That is the smell I associate most with autumn. My friends and I would help the farmer's wife fill jugs of cider all afternoon. In exchange for our work she would let us have a jug or two that she had set aside to go hard. Once we had loaded the truck with our bounty we'd crack open one of those jugs of hard cider for the trip into town. When we got all of those jugs safely home, we'd loosen the corks on a few to put aside and put the rest in the cellar, to bring up later and replace the ones we'd emptied.

Nowadays it's getting more difficult to find a jug of cider that hasn't been pasturised and rendered nothing more than cloudy apple juice.

Them ol' Georgia boys, Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, knew the joys of apple-pickin' time.


Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers - Paddy Wont You Drink Some Cider.mp3

Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers - Sals Gone To The Cider Mill.mp3

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