Sunday, March 13, 2011

More signs of spring and the beginnings of winemaking for the year

In my last post I mentioned some sounds of spring. I missed a couple, such as the sound of a brook or creek breaking loose (what a happy sound and sight!) and the sound of ice breaking up in a lake. Another sound that will soon be filling our ears is the sigh of wind through leaves. Leaves. I am so excited for leaves.

Yesterday, John and I drove to the Lake House to visit brother-in-law and wife. It's still pretty wintery feeling up there, what with them being in more mountainous regions, but still very pretty. And on the drive there, I had a chance to see hundreds of trees along the side of the highways all shaded with a very light pink-buds!
Edit: I've seen some chipmunks scampering about too! If they've come out of hibernating, I think everything else is soon to follow.

Tonight John and I are making our first wine of the year. A new type of wine we've never tried before-beet wine. I'm really excited and curious to see what it tastes like. The beets were on sale at our local Market Basket and we thought we'd give it a go to kick start our goal of making the most of every chance we get to make all sorts of interesting wines and beers this year. Last year we were positively too lax on taking up on all the chances we had, so hopefully this is a harbinger of a bountiful year where we take advantage of all that we can. We started by buying a book called Making Wild Wines and Meads by Patti Vargas and Rich Gulling. It has all kinds of amazing recipes and encourages using what you find to make wine. John and I don't normally buy books new, but the thought here was if we have an easily accessible recipe (as opposed to browsing through myriads of recipes on the web) we might be more motivated to do something. (Though we'll still probably be looking on the internet for recipes the book doesn't have).

But so far so good! We're currently waiting for the beets to simmer until tender over low heat. I'm taking photos all along so I'll have a little photo-documentary on the making of beet wine in a couple months. Well, sometime next year, I suppose. Wine making takes such a l-o-o-o-n-g time. Brewing beer is positively speedy in comparison. And speaking of which, I'll post some photos of husband's Lemon Hefeweizen when he does the bottling. I totally spaced on photographing the actual brewing of though :( My excuse is that John's parents were over and I was too preoccupied with having tea and pleasant conversation with John's mom while John showed his dad the ropes of brewing. (He was super interested, too.)

Makes me excited for having kids to raise and homeschool and teach all kinds of interesting things, such as brewing, wine making, foraging and putting up food in all kinds of clever ways. Hopefully that's not a far off dream either.

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