It is the first week of July and we are on holiday. Our holiday will not involve exotic locations, unless one counts Hull
, or extensive travel. This is a vacation for gentle pottering and catching up on some sleep. Our first holiday job was to take Aggie to the vet to find out if it was time for the Big Sleep (answer: no, but she is unlikely to last the month). Since then, fun levels have only improved. I spent time in the garden harvesting fruit (blackcurrants & gooseberries mostly - Claire won't let me near her raspberries) and after lunch we had a jaunt out to York Gate Garden
. It being a sunny day, I packed picking baskets and from York Gate we went to the Horsforth Pick Your Own
. Generally I go to Wharfedale Grange Farm near Harewood, but when I went past last week I saw no signs declaring it was open for fruit picking. Also, it has got so expensive that I thought I would give Horsforth a whirl. This pick-your-own is cheaper: about £2 a pound for strawberries and it was surprisingly busy for a Monday afternoon (2nd July).
|Claire picking strawberries|
The strawberries are 'Florence' variety and were huge and plentiful. The picking in Horsforth was easier than Wharfedale Grange - there was no searching and little rejecting involved. We wanted 5 lbs - 4 lbs for this wine and 1 lb for a wine later in the year - and came away with six strawberries too many.
|Six strawberries too many|
At home I washed and hulled the fruit, put it in the bucket and mashed until I had a container of gore. I added 3 lbs sugar and 4 pints of boiling water, giving it all a thorough stir.
On Tuesday afternoon, following a jaunt into town in which we bought a standard lamp, two guides to Corfu and a large yellow rug, I removed the pulp from the liquid (storing the liquid in a demijohn) and covered it with 2 pints of water. I then washed and re-sterilised my bucket and other equipment used (jug, spoon, sieve, colander, funnel) and removed the pulp from its new liquid, this time discarding the pulp. All liquid (including that in the demijohn) went back in the bucket and I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and tannin.
|The stage where some liquid is in the demijohn and the pulp is covered in 2 pints of water|
I put the wine into its demijohn on Saturday 8th July but as there was nothing to filter out this was very quick. It is a beautiful, solid red.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here
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