As you make your way across the quad, a delicate rust-colored leaf falls tenderly upon your cheek. A cool gust of wind blows in your face, and you jam your hands deep in your pocket, fingering the Crafted Kup punch card that eagerly awaits your next Pumpkin Spice Latte purchase. Not too far off in the distance, you hear the faint, repetitive chant growing stronger and stronger “sweater weather… Sweater weather… SWEATER WEATHER.” These signs can only mean one thing: fall is upon us.
There are few things people anticipate more eagerly than the start of the fall season. And who can blame them? An entire season dedicated to consuming vast quantities of pumpkin, spice and everything nice! The mere thought of wrapping your lips around the straw of your favorite fall beverage is enough to send a chill down your spine.
If the festive cider that is served occasionally in the Deece is not enough to fulfill your needs, we have a solution for you. The next time you are lounging about, enjoying a bite of a moist Apple Pumpkin streusel muffin and you find yourself without a beverage to wash it down with, try this recipe that is sure to quench your thirst for all things autumnal.
In order to prepare this scrumptious fall concoction, it is absolutely necessary to venture out into the wild and collect these ingredients yourself. It is the only way to ensure that your beverage is authentic and locally sourced. After all, ‘tis the season for harvest! So grab your favorite flannel and your closest friends and prepare to the create your soon-to-be favorite recipe of the fall season.
Start off your ingredient scavenger hunt with a trip to Noyes circle and begin gathering any pinecones you see scattered about. You might have to get on your hands and knees for this, but trust me, it will be worth it. Inspect each pinecone carefully, admiring its delicate features. Deeply inhale its aroma (with both nostrils). As long as you are down there, you should also collect an assortment of leaves. Piles and piles of glorious, crisp fall leaves of every color you can imagine. These ingredients are vital for your recipe, as they provide just the right amount of zest. It might be a good idea to throw in a couple twigs and perhaps a pebble or two. These ingredients will provide texture and the feeling of satisfaction knowing that your beverage is truly vegan.
For the next ingredient, you won’t have to venture too far. Unbeknownst to most students, Vassar’s favorite critters have been known to hoard cinnamon in large quantities deep inside their burrows. (Probably left over from when they were super into the cinnamon challenge.) Pay a visit to a local womp womp den and chat with them for a bit, inquiring about their emotional well-being. In exchange for a couple of favors, they will usually let you have all the cinnamon you want. However, if you are unsuccessful in your endeavors, store-bought cinnamon is fine; you probably need to head to Stop and Shop to replenish on alcohol anyway.
The next ingredient requires stealth, discipline and vigilance. It might be helpful to have a friend keep a lookout for you while you collect this ingredient. Head on over to the Retreat and snatch an entire block of cream cheese from the bagel topping station. If possible, grab another. Cream cheese is the secret ingredient that adds just the right amount of thickness that is so desirable in recipes. (Seriously, thickness is a really underestimated component of recipes. You want cider that is really juicy.) It will truly transform your ordinary cider into a mouth-watering culinary masterpiece.
With Halloween steadily approaching, you may notice jack-o-lanterns begin to appear on the doorsteps of local Poughkeepsie residents. It is a shame to see these perfectly good pumpkins go to waste, as they are the quintessential ingredient of any respectable fall recipe. Consider rescuing these jack-o-lanterns from their demise (or existence as a Trumpkin) and steal them from your unsuspecting neighbors. Once they have a sip of your hearty cider, they will surely understand and thank you.
The final ingredient requires you to plan a trip to the local orchard. Once you strike a few fun apple-picking poses and upload the pictures to the social media platform of your choice, select 27 of the juiciest, most voluptuous apples you see and add them to your stockpile of ingredients. If you don’t have time for this, apples stolen from the Deece will suffice, if you’re the type of person that likes to deprive themselves of authentic autumnal cuisine.
Once you have acquired your ingredients, it’s time to place them all in a gourd of your choosing. It is up to you to decide the color and texture of your gourd, but please make sure that it is particularly robust. And is also thick.
Now it’s time to turn up the heat! For approximately seven hours, boil the ingredients in water, frequently checking up on them. After you are done, let it simmer for a while, then stir vigorously with both hands, making sure the ingredients are beaten to a pulp. Let cool, then serve with a drizzle of butterscotch syrup.
Come on Brewers, whip out your mugs and let your senses be overcome with the pleasure of this decadent fall recipe!
Recipe for homemade vegan pine cone scented pumpkin cider:
Ingredients (One Serving)
27 apples (whole)
2 gallons water (vegan)
13 pinecones (quartered)
3.5 lbs of leaves (diced)
several cream cheese
7 tbsp ground cinnamon