Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's mushroom and grape season

Autumn is always a rush. There's picking to be done everywhere you look. I madly pick berries, cut cabbages, dig up spuds and pull carrots.

The grapes have been patiently waiting for me.  After Himrod, our wonderful eating grape, all got eaten by the birds before I could get the nets on, I have been keeping a watchful eye on the other vines.

Finally I picked, and now I am making juice.  Last year we made wine, not particularly successfully.  Initial tastings of "Albie's Feet" were not pleasant.  Sharp and acrid. Not sure if a few years will help that along or not?

But I made some jars of juice which we have loved. So this year I decided, no wine, just juice.

I destalked the grapes, cooked them till the skins were soft and the juice ran, sweetened them a little with sugar before packing them into empty wine bottles.  Finally I processed them in a water bath for 10 minutes. Grapes are high in acidity and so the water barth doesn't need to be very long.

So far, I have done the Pinot Noir and the Pinot Gris.  Only Sauvignon Blanc to go.
Packed bottles after processing in the waterbath
You can do all sorts of fancy things to remove the cloudyness like putting the cooked juice in the fridge for 48hrs then straining off, etc, etc.  But this will be just nice enough for us, thanks!

My poor flat smells of mushrooms, which isn't as nice as smelling of wine. I have been drying my pickings in the oven and the dehydrator.
Mushrooms growing in our orchard

What will I do with all these?

And more from the roadside!