I know I didn’t wake up feeling like one, but after I went for a walk one morning this week and had made and was eating my breakfast, the feeling came on rather fast.  I was zoning out, enjoying my oatmeal and raisins, when I heard a loud and horrible POP followed by what sounded like a burst pipe or sudden, torrential downpour outside the front door.  Given that the front door doesn’t have any exposed pipes and is also very much covered from the elements, none of this made any sense to my early morning brain.  I also thought perhaps the POP had been the result of malicious hooligans setting off large firecrackers at my front door, or to get at one of my near neighbors.  I got up to inquire and found something entirely unlike what I had expected.

Last weekend, Nick and I had made apple cider with my family and friends.  We had brought back some gallons of pasteurized and sealed cider, and four unpasteurized gallons with which to make hard cider.  It’s fun.  However, we had stacked the boxes in the front closet and proceeded to forget what raw cider does when left unsupervised in a dark, warmish environment:  It begins to ferment.  It had fermented so hard it had exploded a glass gallon jug.  The liquidy noise was the cider flying out of the corners of the box and soaking the box beneath it, as well as the closet floor.

I promptly panicked.  I dashed into the bedroom and woke up a very confused and disoriented Nikolai, who (once he understood what was happening) was very helpful.  We placed bowls to catch the runoff, towels to staunch the cidery coup of the closet floor, and moved things in imminent danger of being cidered out of the closet.  Nick was brilliant.  He realized that the other three jugs would likely explode as well and he unscrewed the caps on them, saving us from cidery, glass-splintery doom.

Did I mention I woke him early?  You see, his natural sleep pattern starts at about 2 AM and ends about 10 AM.  I prefer he wake up in the mornings and help me with getting ready so I don’t get angry that he gets to sleep in, so I wake him up at 7 AM.  With me so far?  This particular morning, I woke him up half an hour early, which to his body is actually three and a half hours early.  Ergo, quick thinking under such circumstances is remarkable.  We got the mess contained, the closet cleaned, and the applejack (it’s called applejack when it gets a little boozy and fizzy all by itself, did you know?  I just found that out.) into a large pot to start the hardening process.

I left for work with these final thoughts on the event:  I think this is what moonshiners feel like when a still explodes.  But I bet a still explodes louder.

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