Strawberry Jam, Grape Wine, and Strawberry Syrup...
Lovely! If it was December!
Yup, another weekend without being able to garden. I have a greenhouse packed in the basement and it's driving me nuts. Still, one can't pine away wishing all day. I decided to make the best of it. I'm not done using all of my berries from last year. I've got three jugs of wine in the making:) I also had a container of frozen strawberries that needed to be finished off before the season begins. It ended up I stayed pretty busy.
Grape, chokecherry, and raspberry honey
My wine has been aging. I have grape, chokecherry, and raspberry honeywine. The chokecherry is actually pretty new. I just racked it last week. If you aren't familiar with the wine making process it is one week of fermenting, then a month racked (those big jugs with the airlocks on top), re-rack it to remove sediment in the bottom, then maybe a week in the fridge, another month or two just hanging out in the jug, then finally bottle it. Oh almost forgot the best part, after 5 or 6 months you get to drink it. If you look at the bottoms of the two red jugs you can see the white sediment in the bottom. Time for re-racking. Problem is I only have 3 jugs, so I need to bottle one to re-rack the other two. Wine production seems to be up:) My wine making process is not exact, especially if I don't remember to rack it.
I was pretty happy with my new blue bottles. If you notice they are smaller than regular wine
bottles. It is just enough for my husband and I to have a nice glass of wine on a Saturday evening. I ended up with 2 big bottles and eight little bottles, but that wasn't the end of my weekend projects. I took out my frozen strawberries and tried to decide what to do with them. I love raspberry jam, but I don't like strawberry jam. I also don't like strawberry wine. The logical choice was jelly. It sure turned out pretty. Then I used the leftover pulp from the jelly to make a strawberry sauce. I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs "Our Best Bites." http://www.ourbestbites.com/ If you get a chance check them out. In the photo the grape wine is in the bottles and the strawberry jelly surrounds the strawberry syrup in the olive oil jar.
Our Best Bites Strawberry Sauce
1 pint of Strawberries
1/3 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Run through a blender until smooth. Great for pancakes, smoothies, in lemonade, and on ice cream Sundays.
That is how I spent my weekend. It is supposed to be nice tomorrow, when I'm at work. I guess I'll just have to watch my hibiscus bloom and keep my fingers crossed that one day spring will come. Meanwhile, I will drink my wine and eat some toast and jam.