A: Apples

A is for Apple... yes, yes I know.

Image Credit: Agricultural Research Service,
Public Domain

That's one of my favorite memories from childhood: apples and apple cider from the Cider Mill. It's one of those early memories, the sort that's fuzzy and crinkled around the edges, where gaps appear and only highlight the importance of what is still remembered.

The Cider Mill sat on Landing Road - I'm not sure if it was technically Ellicott City or Elkridge, I saw both when I was researching for this post. The Farm gave tours to school kids. As I went to school nearby, this was probably a no-brainer in the out-of-classroom educational experiences department.

To be honest, I was young enough that I don't remember the details of the tour. What I do remember is the apple press. I remember seeing an apple on the belt, and then the tour guide warning us not to get our hands flattened (which I'm sure was an exaggeration). I watched the apple go from round and shiny and red to crushed: skin torn open, white flesh spilling out like guts, juice dripping out from beneath it. 

The guide must have stopped the belt, because we got to lean in then and pinch some of the squashed apple and taste it. The pulp tasted like the suggestion of an apple - not really the texture of a real one, and without sweetness or sour tang. 

The Cider Mill is gone now. It closed in 2002, and was split up into lots for 2400-4000 sq foot homes I will probably never be able to afford. The street names reflect the land's past - Winesap and Rome Red and Owens, presumably for the farm's owner - but to me, that's even more of a shame. What was once an educational experience - or at least, the nucleus for memories - is just a luxury development with a romantic/nostalgic name. 

That sort of nod to history, to the experience of being on a farm and understanding how it worked, seems kind of like that pinch of pulp, insufficient. The bite of apple that wasn't.

But at least I have my memory - the tiny thrill of fear at the idea of being squashed in the apple press, and pleasure in the "secret" knowledge that the cider we got in jugs actually came from shiny red apples.

A is for Apples and Apple Cider from Cider Mill Farm.


This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge (hocoblogs@@@). Click on The Link for more info and other participating blogs!


  1. Oh, it's sad to see something like that go away. I feel the same about my mother in laws farm. The fields where we used to harvest bails of hay are now filled with monster mansions. *sigh*
    I'm visiting via the A-Z hop. Nice to meet you. I'm #883 on the list. :)

  2. What a wonderful memory. thanks for sharing it. I'm looking forward to following your blog during this challenge. Part of my goal is to visit a serious of predefined blogs close to mine in the registration process.


  3. What an interesting memory. It's a shame that things like that have to close. I recently rediscovered my love for apples and have been eating them almost every day on my way to work. There's just something suprisingly enjoyable about a simple, fresh tasting apple.

  4. I remember that cider mill. I had forgotten, but your posting reminded me. Good job.

  5. I grew up in apple country, central Illinois, home of Johnny Appleseed, no just kidding but it felt like it because there were wonderful crisp sweet tart Jonathan apple trees everywhere. In the fall, I could eat 20 while reading a book. Yum, apples!!

    New follower here, nice to meet you!


  6. :( I didn't know it was gone. I used to perform there with Kangaroo Kids. Their stuff was so good. boooooo more housing!