Sunday, May 1, 2011

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."  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.


  1. Oh how frustrated you must be! Spring will come, eventually.

  2. Homemade wine and jam. A great does of summer for such a cold day. Wishing some warm up your way, especially being you have that greenhouse in the basement- it would have me all kinds of bothered not being able to play with it. ;)

  3. Wow, you had a very busy weekend! I really admire people who make their own wine. It must be so much fun to take to friends, too.

    Of course, it will be nice when we all have to work. ;) Happy Monday.

  4. Wow somebody has been very busy - very impressed. I use the freezer to store ingredients until I have time to play with working full time don't always have enough hours in the day. I am just about going to start trawling the hedgerows to see what I can find to turn into wine. I was hoping to get for a walk yesterday but I think it will be later in the week before I get to go for my walk - positive side is will be more organised and ready by the time I get to go and collect. Thinking primarily of nettles and May or Hawthorn blossom and shortly will be elderflowers etc. Take care and keep up the good work and enjoy those lovely goodies.



    P.S. That Hibiscus is wonderful

  5. Yumm, I wish I could get a taste of that wine :)
    I'll have to try that strawberry sauce, I have oodles of frozen strawberries in my freezer to use up.

  6. I got a little crazy with strawberries too! So excited that we're getting them from California now. I made 25 jars of various strawberry jam concoctions; Strawberry/Rhubarb, Strawberry/Japlapeno, and Strawberry/Key Lime. Can't wait to try your syrup on some 5-grain pancakes! XOXO

  7. Wow! I am so impressed that you make your own wine. I do make strawberry freezer jam. I think I have one last jar in the freezer. I can't wait to make it again this summer! My favorite way to eat strawberry jam is on toasted, buttered, Italian bread...oh my goodness!

  8. I'd say you had a pretty productive weekend! Like you said, best part is that you get to drink it later :) I love the blue bottles, very nice! It has to let up with the snow sooner or later! Keeping my fingers x'd for you that it will be soon.

  9. Wow you have been busy. I love the colour of your hibiscus. B

  10. I've been thinking about making jelly, but I hadn't thought of making wine! How interesting. I think I would like that strawberry wine!

  11. Tasty, tasty. I enjoyed it all, impressed with your winemaking.

    Thank you for visiting my Seedscatterer blog and commenting. The dark Swallowtail is a Pipevine Swallowtail. I located their host plant today. Blog tomorrow.

  12. How fun that you make your own wine!! I love to make jam too - my favorite is the blackberries (though picking them is no fun, can't tell you how many thorns and bee stings I've endured in this pursuit - lol!)


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