Even though the beautiful bounty of spring and summer has gone, we are still enjoying that which we saved and preserved here on the homestead.
This is only our second year preserving, but we have already learned a lot. For example, I spent an hour searching the internet last night for particular potato varieties that will store well through the winter. Geek alert. My goal is to be able to store the majority of food that we need through the winter – at least vegetables, fruits, and grains. That way we can truly enjoy our bounty all year long! I'm not close yet, but I'm learning. It's a process, but any step forward is an accomplishment! So far, we have learned to preserve through dehydrating, canning, pickling, freezing, or….
Turning our harvest into alcohol!
Technically, I don't know if this counts as a preservation method, but I vote yes. We had access to an abundant peach bounty this summer and took advantage of it. We canned peach baby food, we dehydrated peaches, we froze peaches, we canned peaches, and (yep, you guessed it!) we made peach wine. Can't let anything go to waste on the homestead, especially succulent, juicy, God given peaches! Someone hand me the whipping cream….I'm goin' in the for the kill.
Here's the wine in the carboy, just ready to be bottled. We've had this carboy in our bedroom for about three months now. Needless to say, I was ready to see it go. It makes me feel pretty trashy having it in our room. When you have to start dusting your five-gallon-jug of alcohol, you start to question where your life went wrong…
This is our third batch of wine that we've made. One red, one white, and one peach. The red wine was pretty much undrinkable. It was our first batch and we learned some lessons the hard way. It's pretty bad. Actually, it's really bad. Bitter. Flavorless. Blah. But we still have 25 bottles in our cellar. If times get really really really tough, maybe (just maybe!) I'll sink that low….
Or I'll give it to mean people for Christmas presents.
If you get a bottle of wine from me next year, don't drink it.
The “brewing” is my husband's labor of love, so he is the head brewmaster of our home. He finds the recipes, collects the ingredients, oversees production, and implements quality control (over me, because really, I am his only slave, I mean, employee). Lucky for me though, this last weekend, my brother-in-law Jeremy was visiting! So I got to make lunch while the two of them scrubbed and sanitized the bottles.
Phew! Lucked out on that one…
Because Stuart is the head brewmaster, he is also in charge of the corking.
Because he knows me well enough to know that I would screw this up.
And that would be a cryin' shame.
They say not to cry over spilt milk…but this is wine people! TOTALLLLY different category.
So instead of actually helping, I lay sprawled on the floor taking pictures of the bottles. They sure are a pretty sight, all lined up like ducks in a row. Full of goodness. Sweet, sweet nectar.
The wine won't be ready to drink for about another year. The brewmaster says it has to mature and mellow. Dang brewmaster. It's a long, agonizing process.
But I can be patient. I can wait.
Unless I can't.
In which case, I will be down in my cellar sipping sweet summer goodness if you would like to join me.