Cliff Clendenen, Clendenen’s Cider Works

One of my sweetest memories about Clendenen’s Cider Works is not one where I’m drinking the cider myself (although I do love ice cold cider on a hot day and vice versa as well).  My husband spent many years as a police officer in the Friendly City of Fortuna.  I guess when you are a police officer everything isn’t as friendly as it might seem…but that’s another story.

My husband has never been able to stand hot weather — and Fortuna can get toasty in the summer.  Imagine being really hot, carry about 20-30 lbs of extra equipment all of the time, and wearing a bullet proof vest (yes, back then it was optional equipment but I insisted…) — he would describe with great joy going to Clendenen’s Cider Works and buying an ice cold carton of apple cider and drinking it down in one go.  Cooling the body from the inside out — it doesn’t get any better than that!

So of course it was a pleasure to talk with Cliff Clendenen about the family business and learn a bit about his family roots.  His son Drew is following in dad’s footsteps so we should be able to gulp down the icy cider on hot days for many more years.  To listen to the interview with Cliff, click here.

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Tom Wrigley Apple Orchard

I really love apples — even more than a beautiful pastry or fine chocolate (which I love just fine as well) but apples just have it all —

 they have that sweet burst of juice, and if the apple is my kind of apple, you also get that burst of tart.  The juice quenches your thirst, and chewing the crunchiness of it is so satisfying.  The sound of someone biting an apple will send you scurrying to the market to find one of your own.  I’m hoping that just reading this description will be enough to send you looking for an apple — but what type to buy?

That’s the thing about apples — how can they all be so apple-ey, and still be so different?  Some apples are sweet and cloying, some tart, some good for baking, some better for eating in the orchard.  Some apples that are used for hard cider are not even fit for fresh consumption but are used for cider only.  Is there another fruit that has such a range?  There are entire websites dedicated to helping you decide.

And — I have a new favorite — the Waltana.  This is an apple that was created by Albert Etter (yes, one of those Ettersburg Etters), and Tom Wrigley has produced a Red Waltana — and that is my new favorite.  A burst of juicy tart deliciousness and I might be in apple heaven.  A walk in Tom Wrigley’s orchard and there’s no doubt I’m in heaven.  Give all apples a try — they each have something unique to offer us.

Listen to the interview with Tom Wrigley.