Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Weekend II. Part I.

In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve already been in Prague forever. But then again, I’ve been here two weeks and haven’t set foot yet in the Jewish Quarter. (I will, don’t worry!) But I have been here for two weekends and haven’t even spent a single weekend day in Prague, because we’ve been out and about. This weekend, we went to Anna’s hometown, a village about 200 km from Prague (more about the village life here).

On Saturday morning, we went apple picking. This is not American-style, pay by the bucket at an apple farm. No. This is drive down the road to a random cluster of apple trees overflowing with apples and pick as many as you can.

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This is what the trees looked like when we left. WHEN WE LEFT!!! We didn’t have to pick for big apples, or red apples, or any particular type of apples, because we were taking them straight to be juiced. The next village over has a family run juicing business (one of the four brothers went to school with Anna, of course). We brought 55 kilos of apples (about 120 pounds) to be washed, chopped, and juiced.

The process of juicing was actually quite fascinating – they had the process down to a science. As far as I could tell, approximately a bucket and a half of whole apples creates one bucket of chopped apple. And two buckets of chopped apples get put into one section of apple juicing (I don’t really know how to describe this part – I’m talking about the black mesh fabric that the apples get wrapped in before being placed between two wood flats).

The apples get squished, the juice gets collected into a bucket, and then we poured it into 1.5 liter bottles to take home. When all the apples were juiced, we had 18 bottles – 27 liters – of apple juice (very similar in taste to American apple cider). Add that to the burčák haul for the weekend, and we have enough to drink in this house for a month!

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