Sunday 25th October was a day of industry. Our evening was to be spent having a virtual dinner-party via Zoom with Mary. When dining with Mary there is always a theme: we have had foods that rhyme, foods of a particular colour and food that starts with a letter in Dvorak's name. On Sunday Claire chose the theme and that theme was 'Tapas: Pride & Prejudice style'. Therefore much of my day was spent making Spanish dishes and trying to shoe-horn a way of fitting it into Pride & Prejudice. Pickled peppers stuffed with goats cheese and sprinkled with dill represented Lydia for being both cheap and easy. Patatas Bravas represented the early fiery nature of Lizzie and Darcy's relationship.
|Lydia & Whickham - Tapas Style|
When not making tapas, I was making Crab Apple & Strawberry wine. The 1 lb of strawberries was fished out from our freezer a couple of hours before I started in earnest. I needed 4 lbs of apples, but our crab apple tree only had 3 lbs left on it, so I bulked it out with 1 lb of apples from the tree in our back garden - thus robbing the blackbirds and squirrels of their full ration.
|Apples on our tree|
I mashed the strawberries, which had yet to defrost fully, in the bucket and whizzed the apples through the food processor, putting these in as well. As 6¾ pints of water boiled, I put 3 lbs sugar into the bucket and gave everything a good stir. Once the water was boiling I poured this into the mix and stirred again. Next morning I added a teaspoon each of yeast, pectolase and nutrient.
|The ingredients before processing|
On Wednesday evening we drank some of last year's Apple & Strawberry Wine, which was thin and boring. Therefore, I added a teaspoon of citric acid to my bucket as an experiment to avoid that fate - though I don't actually know what effect citric acid has!
|The ingredients, after processing|
On Saturday morning I sieved out the fruit and put the liquid into its demijohn - this time leaving a gap to avoid any overflow, and storing some wine in a separate bottle for topping up purposes. I could have reduced the water by about half a pint in the above recipe, but now I have a lovely red coloured wine bubbling away in the demijohn.
|The End Result|