Throwback Autumn

We took a drive out to the our friends in Dryden again to participate in their annual cider press. Wheelbarrows full of apples are rounded up to a machine that dates back to a hundred years ago, and the proof is in how much physical labor is involved. Apples are sliced once on a wooden stand, then tossed into a grinder and mashed down with a thick wood plank. The grinder is run by a wheel on the side, obliterating the apples and sending the pieces into a bucket until it practically overflows. A top wheel then sends the press down on the contents of th bucket, and when it becomes too much pressure to turn the wheel, a wood plank rests on the top and aids turning the wheel even further. The pressure juices the apples and the liquid flows down a sluice and into bucket on the ground. Then the juice goes through a final container with the spices that make it all cider. This is a classic activity for eastern Washington in October. Then we moved on to a hotel in Moses Lake, home of Soap Lake and plenty of hunting and birdwatching. None of that particularly interested us, so since Scott had never been to Yakima we decided to take a detour over there. He was really doing me a favor, because I’d learned online that Yakima has the last Sea Galley in Washington state (link goes to the one in Alaska). When I was a kid in Bellingham we didn’t have Red Lobster, we had Sea Galley, and everyone knew we did because their commercials featured dancing waiters with giant crab legs instead of their own legs.What I remembered most about it was the interior was really dark but I couldn’t remember why. Once inside yesterday I saw why: they decorate their interiors like a fishing pier, as if you’re walking through a recreation in a history museum. Actually the seafood was very good and more targeted at northwestern cuisine than a Red Lobster.

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