Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wine and Flowers

One of the things I like to do is make fruit wine. Our property came complete with several established fruit trees. (No, that didn’t stop me from purchasing A Whole Lot More – I like to knit but I’ve never met a nursery I didn’t just love.) Several of the plum trees are heavy producers of not that great for just eating fruit so I had the bright idea of making wine and jam. Last night I filled 22 wine bottles. I use bottles that my friends save for me. No use spending a lot of money. The cost of sugar alone is tremendous (we also have a serious relationship with a zillion hummingbirds). I tried to capture the color of the wine. It's a lovely deep red and pretty tasty stuff too.Over the last few years I’ve worked out a technique for cleaning, removing the labels and sterilizing them. I have to tell you though – if you ever find yourself at a bar and a fight erupts and you have a choice of grabbing either an American wine bottle or an Australian one - go for the Australian. We Americans, at least the big business types, know how to squeeze every penny. American bottles are much, much thinner and the labels literally soak off. Now the Aussies on the other hand glue their labels on tight and nothing short of a good scraping with a razor blade will get them off. Their bottles are heavy. The most petite lassie could easily conk someone out wielding a nice Australian merlot. Just something to think about.

Sadly, this spring the trees were in full bloom when we had some late snow and there will be no fruit this year and no wine (due to popular demand I concentrate on wine and not jam). I’ve become somewhat addicted to the smell of having a mini winery in my art studio (the bathroom is the winery). My friend Sharon, who is a fantastic artist, did the label for last year's wine but I can’t find the file on my exquisitely organized hard drive.

Some of my greenhouse seedlings are about to go live out in the sun. I try something new each year and one of those things is this.

It’s Cocopah/Zea mays sweet corn. The seeds were originally collected in 1868-1869 from the Colorado River Indians and saved by prospectors in northern Arizona. The kernels are red, white and some blue. They may be too pretty to eat.


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

I'm sure I still have the wine label file. I can even print some for you, if you'd like. Just give me some advance warning!


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