Can never have enough fabulous potholders :) The holiday swap rules were slightly different – exchange of one set of holiday potholders (Christmas, winter) and one handmade ornament, with no added extras. My partner requested “Funky Christmas – pinks, teals, bright grass greens” and I asked for winter using blues and silvers. And here’s what we came up with:
Archive for October, 2010
Every year, a good friend hosts a Halloween party and everyone brings a carving pumpkin and a new “spirit” to drink. So I calculated the dates backwards from the party and got to work.
For my first cider attempt, I followed the advice I found on a random blog and bought Wholefoods Apple Juice. This is one of the few juices/ciders that don’t have preservatives. Plus, as my only carboy is occupied with the wine, I was able to use the 1-gallon glass jugs the apple juice in. Win-win. If all goes well, I will be making a second batch, but this time I’ll use the REAL stuff from the cider mill.
My apartment had an interesting apple and rising bread smell for a few days. It was a bit different from the wine, and it could have been the special cider yeast I used. After that initial fermentation and even after the first racking, the cider was very cloudy. But hanging out for a few weeks allowed the yeast to do its thing and settle down. And look at this beautiful golden color! Now, taste is another thing.With 5 jugs to play with, I decided to bottle one this weekend as a tester. I added a sugar-water solution to the siphoned cider for both sweetness and potential bubbles. After sterilizing everything and then spilling some on the floor, I finally managed to get 10 bottles done. The bottles get to settle this week (and make carbonation, hopefully) and then hop into the fridge to cool down for drinking pleasure. Also, there was just the perfect amount of cider left over to fill half a wine glass. As for the taste, it’s actually not too bad, haha. It definitely has a good cider base, but I’m not sure about the after taste … maybe not sweet enough for me. Let’s hope after the bottles swim in the sugar a bit more, it will be right on.
During blueberry season, it’s very easy to go overboard on the picking and there are only so many blueberry jams and pies you can make. And my freezer was still loaded. So, to google I went.
I stumbled across a recipe for “homemade blueberry liqueur” on a jam recipe site. Red wine, blueberries, and rum … sounded like a good combination to me! The resulting cordial is very lovely – a deep blueberry start and a light citrus finish. At first, I thought it was too much citrus, like blueberry marmalade. But after sitting for a while longer, it’s turning out to be quite yummy.
So here it is, in its original metric state:
1 liter good red wine
300-400 grams sugar
400 grams blueberries
1 cinnamon stick
1,5 deciliter rum
Slice orange and lemon into flat rounds. Add all ingredients except rum into saucepan and boil for 15 minutes. Cover pan and let cool over night at room temperature. Strain fruit wine mixture, mix in rum, and let sit for a few weeks – I put mine in the fridge. And enjoy!