Wednesday, 20 November 2013

It's the glory!

The local agricultural show is a time of great excitement at Marmalade Cottage.

This is the third year the practical reinventor has entered some produce

The jam and marmalade prizes remain elusive, but the garlic came second as did the pineapple relish.

But that was nothing - nothing - compared with the home grown and pickled beetroot.

Not only a first prize, but an OTT rosette for the President's Choice!

And a total of $6 prize money.

Monday, 18 November 2013

In which the reinventors decide to make wine

It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.  We found the strawberries going cheap and decided we'd made more jam than we know what to do with.

So, off to the local shop-with-everything.  And came back $80 poorer but with gadgetry!

Pretty much any fruit can form the basis of wine - the naturally occurring sugars will ferment all by themselves under the right circumstances, producing alcohol.

First mash your fruit. Then add water and the right kind of yeast.

And a Campden tablet and some stuff to encourage the yeast and rather a lot of sugar.

Stir it daily for a week. Then strain it into your demijohn.

This will be a particularly messy task and will take ages.  But, you know, wine!

Once it's in the demijohn, you need a special bung with just the right sized hole to take your air lock.  Don't even contemplate skimping on these.  As the wine does it thing, it burps and hiccups gas, and since you need to exclude as much air as possible, which means filling the demijohn to the top.

If you don't allow the gas to escape in a controlled manner, it will take matters into its own hands.

Now it's sitting in a cool, dark cupboard, and in a couple of months, we'll bottle it, optimistic that we'll end up with something dry, pink and bubbly.