Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh The Weather Outside's Delightful.......................


Hoping to repeat my success of last Sunday night, I could not wait for this weekend to show itself. Unfortunately it showed itself as the first and earliest significant snow in many years. With lows predicted in the mid 20's I had no choice but to shift gears and take care of a few things at home. Little issues like blowing out the sprinkler system before it freezes or picking my apples before the cold renders them useless. Picking my apples was the first priority. With 7 loaded trees, it would be quite an endeavor. Finally finishing up on Sunday afternoon the day ended with 22 bushels more than I started with. My hopes are to make both soft and hard cider with most of them. A few weeks ago I ordered a cider press and apple grinder, which hasn't arrived yet. My friend Kevin has a friend near Ashland Wi that makes a wicked hard cider. I asked him if he could give me John's number and instead he had John call me. We had a fascinating discussion on pressing cider and gave me some fabulous tips like using peptic enzyme for better yields. Hopefully my press arrives by the weekend so I can start the process. One thing John says is that cider is better if blended with a number of different varieties. Sunday I bought a 1/2 gallon of Honeycrisp only cider and it was rather bland, proving his theory. Another fate for my apples have been drying large batches in the dehydrator. Using one of those fancy apple peeler/slicers I simply run them threw leaving the skins on, spread them on the drying racks adding a sprinkling of sugar/cinnamon before putting them in the dehydrator. They turn out simply delicious. I will probably try to make a few quarts of apple pie filling as long as I'm at it.

My friends Eric Hayes and John Delestry were more active in the outdoors this weekend. Eric and John have joined me on Mille Lacs on a number of occasions including the night we had a wild ride from 3 mile to Cedar Creek Landing. Determined to fish the evening bite we launched at the landing around 4:00 one afternoon. The wind was out of the southeast, perfect for drifting the reef. We had caught a few really nice fish going into dusk when all of the sudden the wind switched to the northwest and grew to over 30 mph. The landing is was exactly down wind from our location and we decided we had better head in as the waves had built up to an honest 4 feet. Eric's boat is a 17.5 foot Lund Angler with a 70 hp Johnson(Suzuki) tiller. Definitely a marginal boat in these waves, the adventure began. This was about as crazy a ride as I have been on. Eric was at the helm, John in the middle and I had the front manning the spotlight. Eric was doing a great job even though he was not aware of the raging seas around him. I kept encouraging him to stay on the throttle as we pushed through the waves. Going with the waves can be a dangerous proposition. The motor wants to push the back end of the boat down when heading up the next swell and you literally have to beat the one behind you from catching up and filling your boat. I seen a particularly large wave we just crested and I yelled to Eric to check it out, shining the light on the water next to him. The crest of that wave was about 3 feet behind and 3 feet above him! I probably shouldn't have done that. Arriving at the landing it was obvious this was not going to work. As we approached there was a Pro V on a trailer and the waves were crashing over the stern, filling the entire back end of the boat. John had agreed to jump out into the water close to shore as we headed to Mac's protected harbor. He would get the trailer and meet us there. John is a brave man. Before leaving there was a 16 foot lund hanging around the landing waiting their turn. We approached them screaming to follow us to Mac's, we'll go get your car later. They wisely obeyed our request and were glad they did. It was a very difficult to get to Macs but we made it. Those guys were immensely grateful for our insight, we were just glad they were ok. In the meantime John had made it to shore to find the guys loading the Pro V only had a S10 Blazer and could not budge the boat from the water. John ended up towing their entire rig out enough to drain the water completely. Arriving at the landing we first went back for our new found friends car. Loading them both we called it a night!
The first picture is of Eric's dog Lambeau (you got it Packers fans) with their opening day bag of ducks including green wing teal, gadwalls, and 3 mallards, a hen and 2 drakes. This is a pretty impressive bag if I must say. Lambeau is getting up in the years but he still has it in him. Eric hunts around the La Crosse area and his luck was much better than around Minnesota. The second picture is of John's son bagging his first deer during Wisconsin's Youth Deer Hunt last weekend, an nice tender nubbin buck fawn. Limited to does, he did a fine job of showing dad who's going to be the future deer hunter in his family. That deer will sure taste good this fall. Thanks guys for sending in your pictures as my weekend was pretty uneventful. It looks like the weather will be more favorable for getting up this weekend.

8 comments:

Dewey said...

You know, that cider endeavor seems like a heck of a lot of work. I have only two words for you...."Jack Daniels"

Dave Anderson said...

Yes it does but I have a number of neighbors suckered into this so it shouldn't be too bad!

Westin said...

Any bait advice for the walleye bite this weekend? Now that the lakes have turned over how does the stratagy change?

Dave Anderson said...

Westin,

You can still catch them on leeches however the trophy bite is usually trolling crank baits in the 5 - 10 feet of water. Strategy is to fish the rock reefs. Also the perch bite in the shallows should be on.

Westin said...

Dave,

We'll try it, and I'll let you know how it went.

Westin

Hack said...

Apple cider? Does that explain the pungent fruit remains in the street past the end of your driveway? ;-)

Chuck Teasley said...

Hello David A!
You are like wine. You get better with age. Save some cider for me. The pickles were consumed almost immediately. The kids and I LOVED them. The girls said to thank you.

Dave Anderson said...

Hack,
Come on over and view the production going on. I might even share! Charlie, I'll save some for you.