“Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.”-Hall Borland
It’s that time of the year when cool winds of the upcoming season tickles our cheeks and whispers in our ears that winter is on its way. Autumn’s fingers tap the leaves that hang bright green from unsuspecting branches, sending a wave of brilliant colors through its veins.
Soon, the leaves break free, like a gymnast in mid-air, they tumble, flip and spin down to the ground. Nature’s blanket of reddish-brown, gold, orange and bright red leaves remind us that it’s time to don our thick sweaters and enjoy the soft light of the day and comfort foods that make us smile.
For me, It’s the long missed taste of cider from the Louisburg Cider Mill. Too many years have passed, so I take an unplanned trip to 14730 K68 Highway in Louisburg, Kansas. With sprawling farmlands, and clear roads ahead, I finally locate the sign that leads to the mill. For thirty-seven years, the formerly neglected 120 year old hay barn has churned out liquid gold in this rural part of Kansas.
In 1977, they restored the building and in September of the same year, the first jug of cider was produced. During the summer of 1978, the company purchased a neighbors barn, reconstructed it and used it for a country store that sits near the mill.
Louisburg cider is freshly made with the use of apples purchased through commercial growers in St. Joseph to Waverly, Missouri. Large, one thousand pound crates of ripe apples go from a washing process to the hammermill that grinds them into pomace, a type of pulp. Further functions by the press operator, produces a fresh, delicious drink to toast the upcoming holidays. You can buy half-gallon glass jugs, or plastic half and full gallon jugs. Unopened containers can stay so for a year but once opened must be refrigerated up to thirty days due to the lack of preservatives.
Don’t forget to buy not one, but a half-dozen or more of the apple cider donuts made daily on the property. I step outside with my packages and sit at a nearby picnic table. I listen to the sound of children’s laughter and neighboring conversations while sipping hot cider, occasionally dunking my donut into the stemming brew.
There’s nothing like fall leaves, donuts and a hot cup of Louisburg cider to put you in a Midwest comfort mood. (www.louisburgcidermill.com)