Our first foray into canning

We went to Wal-Mart on Saturday, bought a boiler with a rack, a bunch of jars and lids and a kit with a funnel and a jar-grabber, brought them home and sat on the bed leafing through the various canning books and pamphlets Cristy has accumulated over the years. She collects cookbooks, and likes especially those old pamphlets put out by the Ball jar company or PNM or the local county extension that tells young homemakers how to cook with gas or make green chile stew or whatever.

On Sunday we decided to make and can salsa and peach preserves.

Grape wine... racked!

I'm deathly afraid of making the same mistake with the grape wine as I did with the dandelion. I suspect that I fermented it with too much air touching it. So on Saturday I racked the grape wine into two gallon jugs, filled all the way to the top.

There was alcohol in it already, and I suppose that the main ferment was about at an end. Very soupy bright green color. The siphoning went a little better.

Dandelion Wine RIP

Dandelion Wine RIP

Well, that didn't work.Tasted the dandelion wine just now. Pretty bad. I guess it's vinegar. It tastes like rubbing alcohol mixed with some kind of vinegar. No, that's not right. It has that taste of a spoiled bottle of wine. I guess its vinegar. No more orangy taste.I probably should have drank it weeks ago. I don't know. I suspect that the main problem was air, in that I fermented it in a 5-gallon carboy, then racked it into a one-gallon jug but didn't top it off.Oh well.

Grape wine

When my neighbors Mike and Ben found out that I was making dandelion wine, they graciously offered the grapes from their backyard for my winemaking purposes.

So I took them up on it. On the 14th I went over and picked a whole bunch of grapes. We've got this metal tub that we sometimes use to ice down drinks when we have a party. I filled that up until I couldn't fit any more grapes in it without them spilling over the sides. Then I sat down and started to destem them. Then, when I realized how long this was going to take, I began to regret picking all those grapes.

Solar-baked Lasagne with Lamb's Quarters

Yesterday I attempted to make lasagna in my new solar cooker. Careful readers of this blog may remember that I said I was going to throw out my old solar cooker. I did, too. I threw it out numerous times, each time with more disgust and determination than the time before. First I threw it into the giant dumpster that was parked in my driveway for the purpose of disposing of demolition and construction debris. The workmen tossed it out. I never mentioned it to them, but I got the feeling that they didn't like anything but their own trash in their dumpster.

I'm back!

I have a terrible habit of starting projects and then abandoning them. As far as I can tell, I've always done this and I suspect that I always will. However, I'm trying to change. I really am. I know I can do better.

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