Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lilac Wine

I figured it sounds nice, so i'll go for it.
It took me about two days and a few trips out to the backyard for lilac blossoms. Luckily i have more than enough lilacs even after giving away better than half of what the new yard came with...

After picking, i soaked them in the sink.  A few insects came spluttering up from the water, they went outside.

Salad spinner

This is what 16 quarts of sorted lilac flowers looks like... they are in a 5 gallon stock pot.

My recipe is for a 5 gallon batch. I found a few online and i'm sort of taking from a few of them to come up with my own.  Its for fun, so its just as much experiment as anything else.

I'm starting with 3 gallons of water to boil:

A watched pot never boils, so no peeking!

When it gets hot enough and hubby (who forgot to buy the sugar i sent him out for) gets back ...

The sugar...

The recipe i based this on calls for 12# of sugar.  So i measured out 2 pounds and then just dumped in two whole 5# bags.


Add flowers

Will they all fit?


I added a cup of lemon juice to try and get a good acid balance. I will have to taste it to adjust it later.

Allow to cool for 24 hours

Add a "do not disturb" note

That's it for the next 24 hours...
After that, its the yeast and the other 2 gallons of water that needs to be boiled then cooled.

Sprout report for the replanted seeds:

Tomato, Empire Hybrid- 1
Tomato, Siberia- 2
Tomato, Black from Tula- 4
Cucumber, Summer Dance- 5
Cucumber, Alibi- 6
Summer Squash, Sundance- 5
Winter Squash, Long Island Cheese- 2
Winter Squash, Red Eye- 2
Acorn Squash, Carnival- 5
Melon, Hales Best- 2
Melon, Rocky Ford- 4
Watermelon, Pony Yellow- 5
Watermelon, Tom Watson- 3
Tomato, Yellow Pear- 5
Ornamental Eggplant- 4
Salsify, Sandwich Island Mamoth- 5
Half Bush Bean, Appaloosa- 1

and lo and behold... one of the Zsa Zsa peppers is shouldering up.  I guess this is the way things go when a seed company names a plant variety after a diva.  Apparently this pepper requires heat.  Not "does better with"  but must have. 

Off to finish reading "Root Cellaring"

Very grateful for today's rain.

I'd have to look back and check for sure... but i think we had gone about 3 weeks without significant rain until last night.
The way i remember it is that its been more than 2 weeks since we got Molly and i have not had to walk in the rain to take her out for her potty break until this morning.

But the garden has been quite dry even though i had been trying to water it every other day. The carrots and parsnips got water every day.  The dry weather makes it difficult for garden amendments to make their way into the soil, i could still see specks of the lime hubby spread out a few weekends ago.

I need to get the worm castings out of the worm bin. It is going to be a messy project to separate the Red Wigglers from the finished material. We have been sprinkling the liquid from the bin around in the garden, the bin produces about a pint of liquid every few days. I need to put it in a hose end sprayer and broadcast it on the garden, i  bet it will make a big difference.  I also can't wait to see how many worms i now have. I started with only one pound last winter. The selling companies like you to buy 2 pounds, but even the lowest prices are a bit on the ridiculous side and i wasn't worried if it started out slow. Considering how they consume kitchen scraps, i bet i have quite a few more than before.

I decided to try making Lilac Wine after reading about it in the comments of another blog i follow.
I have 13 cups of petals prepared so far.  I only have 5 gallon carboys, so i really should make at least 4 gallons in it. This means a lot of petals.  Good thing is that i have plenty of lilac flowers available for picking.  Some are starting to go by, but some are just about right.  Good thing is that plucking the petals is something i can do seated at the table.
I have most of the materials on hand,  the rest will require a quick trip to the LHFS.

Off to pluck more petals...!