What We’re Reading: Sláinte. The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider.

What We’re Reading: Sláinte. The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider

by Caroline Hennessy and Kristin Jensen.

Slainte

From The “New, Useful and Entertaining” Thomas’ The Farmer’s Almanac. Edition No. 1. Calendars for December, 1793:

1793 of Almanck cover

The first edition, published by Robert B. Thomas in 1792, (for the year 1793) was “declared new, useful and entertaining” and sold for six pence.

Calendar for December 1793:

“Put your sleds and sleighs in order. Complete your thrashing. Visit your barns often. See that your cellars are well stored with good cider, that wholesome and cheering liquor, which is the product of your own farms: No man is to be pitied, that cannot enjoy himself or his friend, over a pot of good cider, the product of his own country, and perhaps his own farm which suits both his constitution and his pocket much better than West-India spirit.”

sources & resources:

website: www.almanac.com

link to free google ebook compilation:  The Old Farmer and His Almanack: Being Some Observations on Life and Manners in Vew England a Hundred Years Ago, Suggested by Reading the Earlier Numbers of Mr. Robert. B. Thomas’s Farmer’s Almanack, Together with Extracts Curious, Instructive, and Entertaining, as Well as a Variety of Miscellaneous Matter

Harvard University Press, 1920

Why do we need so many kinds of apples?

Apples in a crate at Albemarle Cider Works Vintage Virginia Apples

“Why do we need so many kinds of apples?

Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes. If he wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use, running from Early Harvest to Roxbury Russet, he should be accorded the privilege. Some place should be provided where he may obtain trees or scions. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony.”
–Liberty Hyde Bailey, The Apple Tree, p. 68
(New York: Macmillan, 1922)

Celebrating America’s Unique Apple Diversity: Selected Literature

Special Reference Briefs Series

No. SRB 2010-02

Compiled by:
Rebecca Mazur and Katie Winkleblack
National Agricultural Library
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
10301 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
agref@nal.usda.gov
http://www.nal.usda.gov

September 2010
Updated September 2011

“This bibliography is a selected compilation from the rich pool of information resources at the National Agricultural Library about heirloom apples. It consists of a list of books and reports at the Library dating prior to 1928, with the addition of later books which focus on the subject of varieties of apples grown in the American past. It is organized into sections first by date and then in order of the author’s last name.”

Link: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/srb1002.shtml#1754

Sneak Peek: September 2014: Apples of Uncommon Character by Rowan Jacobsen

9781620402276

Rowan Jacobsen

Apples of Uncommon Character

123 Heirlooms, Modern Classics, & Little-Known Wonders

(Plus 20 Sweet and Savory Recipes)

Bloomsbury, September 2014

Rowan Jacobsen: www.rowanjacobsen.com and @rowanjacobsen

Bloomsbury: www.bloomsbury.com

Photographer Clare Barboza (clarebarboza.com) shares a “visual sneak peek” from Uncommon Apples in her blog post a whole lotta apples.

What We’re Reading: Pomona’s Harvest by H. Frederic Janson

Pomonas Harvest

Pomona’s Harvest: An Illustrated Chronicle of Antiquarian Fruit Literature by H. Frederic Janson, Timber Press, 1996.

From Timber Press:

“An intriguing history of books about fruit from antiquity to the Industrial Revolution, including many beautiful engravings from key works. The relationship of pomology to social history and the history of ideas is explored, and there is a bibliography describing more than 600 fruit-related sources.”

This is an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in early pomological texts, and pomological illustration.

Currently available as a print-on-demand paperback from these online retailers: Amazon.comBarnes & NoblePowell’s.

Wassail Day 1. We Salute Ye Olde Quince Trees.

Wassail Day 1. We Salute Ye Olde Quince Trees.

January 5th, 2014

The Plan: A visit to The Cloisters Museum to Wassail the 4 quince trees that live in the Bonnefont Cloister.

Capital detail Cruxa Cloister

The Wassail Implements: An empty soda can re-filled with dried beans – a bit of tape over the top to secure said beans, and a small travel-size plastic cosmetics bottle filled with 2 oz. of Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandy. Old World, New World Wassail To Go DIY Pocket Kit.*

The Cloisters Museum botanical collection includes pollarded crab apple trees, espaliered pears, exotic potted citrus fruits, and the famed quinces. Snowy conditions made it impossible to access the courtyards where the crab apples and quince reside, we could only view them through the frost-steamed windows of the Cruxa & Bonnefont Cloisters. We wished them a quiet Good Health and Good Fortune and vowed to return when the gardens were accessible in Spring.

A gallery talk, led by a knowledgeable and genial guide, focused on details of medieval life in the winter months, examining the seasonal feasting rituals and agricultural tasks that occupied the waking hours of medieval folk, including the varied wassailing traditions observed in the manor hall, monastery and village.

Pollarded crab apple trees Cruxa Cloister

Pollarded crab apple trees in Cruxa Cloister

Read about the fascinating “medieval technique of hard pruning, known as pollarding” in this article, Woodsman, Pollard That Tree.

*repurposed New Years noisemakers are a perfect addition to the DIY-Wassail To Go Kit.

The Pagan Rite WASSAIL! Brown, Bradshaw and World’s Best Ciders.

In their extremely useful guide World’s Best Ciders: Taste, Tradition and Terroir, Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw devote a few pages to explore Wassail traditions and celebrations. (The UK cover -pictured- even features the image of a torch-lit wassail).

WBC UK cover

According to Brown & Bradshaw:

“Like all the best traditions, the ritual of wassail is rooted in the past but allows every community to imposes it’s own stamp. It’s growing in popularity because it is an unmediated, unbranded entertainment that links us back to the land and the passing of the seasons.”

Celebrate Wassail: Grab a copy of World’s Best Ciders, pour a glass of cider or mug of wassail, and explore Wassail traditions past and present.

For more of Bill Bradshaw’s Wassail imagery visit IAMCIDER: iamcider.blogspot.com

Sterling Publishing www.sterlingpublishing.com

These Days of Wassailing

POM00001121

Hello Friends of Cider!  Join us in embracing Wassail in 2014.

We’re observing North American celebrations from January 5th to January 17th, 2014*, from ‘New’ 12th Night Eve to ‘Old’ 12th Night.

Our Goals for The 2014 Wassail: Explore Old & New World Wassail Traditions, Salute The Orchard, Honor The Apple, and Celebrate With Cider.

How are WE Wassailing? To being the festivities, January 5th, 2014, we visited “the four beloved quinces at the Cloisters Museum and Gardens, along the Hudson River in Fort Tryon Park.” The Wassail did not go as planned, but Pomona surprised us with an amazing Wassail Wonder.

Read more about the New York Quinces in this piece In Praise of the Misunderstood Quince by By Michael Tortorello, published May 2, 2012 in the New York Times.

*Note: Our Wassailing activities are likely to continue throughout the month of January 2014, yours can too!

Image: Specimen 8168   Artist: Prestele, William Henry, 1838-1895

Scientific name: Cydonia oblonga  Common name: quinces  Variety: Bourgeat

Source: “U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705”

Celebrate Repeal Day®: Drink a Cider.

Repeal Day® Is December 5.

The motto:

The Freedom To Celebrate. Celebrate The Freedom.

Read more about Repeal Day®  and suggested activities at www.repealday.org

We Suggest A Fine Way To Celebrate Repeal Day®: Drink a Cider.

Read the fascinating Analysis of the U. S. Liquor Industry during Prohibition originally published in Fortune Magazine: U.S. Liquor Industry (Fortune 1931)

Suggested Accompaniment: A Glass of Cider.

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