Greetings from Seattle

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Annual Norquist Family Cider Bee - 2017

I'm not sure where the term "bee" comes from to describe a gathering to complete a task, but that's what we call it, most likely because of our rural roots. 

Gather we did, at my brother Hank's home in Chehalis. When we arrived about 10:15 Saturday morning, the worker bees were well at it. 
 The guys were working the cider press and the kids were preparing the apples. Isaac and Irene got right to work, joining their cousins. 
 I did too. 

 Hank and Cindy had coffee, cocoa and doughnuts ready to go. Some people started with the eating. 

Hank uses his day off on school workshop Friday to go to Yakima to get orchard apples. 

Cindy supervises the bottling of the freshly squeezed cider. 
My cousins, Kris and Dan, and friend Charlie arrived to join in the fun. 

Jake arrived  to join in the apple pressing, and the talk. 
 Between the younger cousins and the older cousins,  the conversations took many forms, including a lot of hot air. . 

My sister Ilene arrived and got busy taking photos too.  

 Jill hurried right over when Steffany arrived with her little Jack and shy Violet. 

 Heidi arrived with her Grandma Laurie, my other sister, when her soccer game was finished. 
 Ilene with her granddaughter and great grandson.
 The old guys, Tom and Arnold. 
 And the work went on, as people traded jobs and tried different parts of the process. 

 Violet and Jill found some fun toys. 
 Girls can squeeze apples too. 

 Hello there. Hank and Jack connect. 
 Of course there was eating too. We had seen on Facebook that morning that it was National Dessert Day. Well, we were ready for it!

 The hosts provided pulled pork sandwiches and corn on the cob and the rest of us brought salads and desserts. 
 There was lots of eating and talking, but I threw out most of the eating pics because nobody looks good chewing. 

After the eating, the kids dispersed to play and the adults convened our cabin meeting. We mixed a little business with our fun, reviewing the finances and projects for the Rockaway Cabin Family Trust. 

Thank you to brother Hank and sister-in-law Cindy for hosting another great Norquist Family Cider Bee. 


  1. I always enjoy seeing posts of the family cider bee. Have to be honest and say it doesn’t look like a fun way to spend a cold day but I’ve obviously missed something. There’s obviously a lot of fun going on there.

    1. Linda, it's about tradition and family. When my parents were alive and still living on our little farm in Oregon, we would gather there on the October school workshop weekend to make cider using my grandfather's old cider press from the farm where my mother grew up. Cider was an important commodity on old German farms, for drinking when it was fresh and for cider vinegar when it fermented.
      My mother would make a huge pan of sticky buns and we would eat them and drink fresh cider when we were pressing the apples, and then she would prepare a wonderful meal to feed us all when we were done. Our kids would have time with their cousins, whom they did not see that often. They would play in the hay barn and run all over the 9 acres.
      Now my mother is gone, but up until five years ago she joined us in this new version of cider making. My brother Hank had decided to preserve the tradition after a long break after our parents moved off the farm and then Dad died. He got the old family cider press and we used that until my uncle claimed it and Hank bought a new one.
      Yes, the weather was chilly, but DRY, and it is the time with family and carrying out the tradition that makes it heart warming.

  2. What a treat to have so many great family traditions/extra reasons to get together! Looks like another fun and successful cider bee!

  3. I'm always so in awe of all the fun things you do as a family. It looks like so much delicious fun, but the best thing of all is doing it together.

  4. You guys really put the family in family values. I have precious memories of these type of gatherings, but sadly, they got fewer and farther between after my grandparents' passing. You share something very special with your readers with these events.

  5. I watched cider being made on Vashon Island. It's quite a process, and everybody seems to have lots of fun, and the cider! It sure is delicious. Thank you for sharing your family tradition with me. I enjoyed it. :-)

  6. what a fun tradition...always enjoy peeking in on your family reunions!

  7. I hope this family tradition continues into the next generation. We talk about family but because we are spread across the country, it's hard to get together.

  8. Your family always does the most interesting things together. That was a lot of cider to make but with a gang working, had to be fun. It teaches the young that not all things come prepared in a bottle. The worthwhile ones take a group effort.

  9. Yes, your family does the most interesting things together. Looks like a lot of work and a lot of fun too.

  10. well, you take homemade cider to a whole new level! What a great family project and family time. We used to do cider when I was a kid and we lived in Fall City. There was a giant cider press that came with the property we rented and a couple of huge apple trees. We drank cider all winter that year.
    I've been following your raccoon wars with interest. Didn't know they tore up lawns! They raid my gardens and bird feeders, but so far, haven't touched the lawn. I may not be so tolerant if they start tearing up my lawn. So far we have plenty of excess to allow them some time eating downed apples, grapes that are left after harvest, and corn that we've abandoned. Probably a bad idea as THIS is where people come to dump the ones they catch in town. :)

  11. You all are such a special family!! What a nice friendly bunch you are.


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