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Cider Helped to Win the Vote

Cider Hard and Sweet --

Each fall the twins, Lucy and Jacob, enjoyed helping their grandfather turn the big handle on his cider press. The twins much preferred Grandpa's fresh crisp cider to milk or juice as their meal-time beverage. With dinner, Elwood enjoyed one of the bottles of hard cider he and his father put up every fall. Agnolia and Rachael liked to drink cider, and they appreciated the contribution cider, which sold briskly from September through November, made to the profits of The Hill Top Farm Stand.

Saturday, Mrs. Miller stopped at The Hill Top Farm Stand for several gallons of cider and a bushel of apples. Mrs. Miller said she was getting the ingredients so she could make "Boiled Apple Crisp" for the church supper. Mrs. Miller said the recipe had come from the new book, Cider Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own.

On the way to the bank, Agnolia stopped at the bookstore to check out Cider Hard and Sweet. Agnolia decided to buy the book when she saw it contained a recipe for "Lost Nation Cider Pie," a recipe from a "rural enclave in the North Country of New Hampshire, way up near the Canadian border."

When Agnolia got home, she checked out the recipe Mrs. Miller recommended. Since she had all the ingredients, Agnolia decided to make the "Boiled Cider Apple Crisp" for dinner. The recipe called for–

8 baking apples
½ cup cider
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. ginger
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

and a delicious-sounding topping made with oatmeal, cider, and brown sugar.

Before starting dinner, Agnolia decided to read the first chapter, "A History of Cider." Agnolia knew cider was popular in New England but would not have expected that "[by] 1775 one out of every ten farms in New England owned and operated its own cider mill."

Since politics was so much in the news lately, Agnolia found the section about cider and politics particularly interesting. She read, "...cider even played a part in American politics... In the presidential campaign of 1840, Whig candidates William Henry Harrison and John Tyler . . . used the symbols of the log cabin and cider barrel. [...] Cider was freely served to all voters, and the Whigs won in an electoral landslide."

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