It has been a busy Sunday. Technically Claire and I are still on holiday, having returned from a fabulous week in Gloucestershire only yesterday. However, today - 12th May - has been industrious. I have made bread, done the weekly shop, washed more dishes than is reasonable, practised the impossible fourth movement of Britten's Sea Interludes, started my dandelion wine, bottled 2012's crab apple wine, made onion gravy, dug some of Julia's allotment and still had time to start this year's Rhubarb Wine.
|Julia's enormous rhubarb patch|
Julia has an enormous rhubarb patch and she encouraged me to take lots. I pulled up several stalks, mostly remembering to grip from the base so that they made a satisfying 'pop' as they came away from the root. This way I got four pounds of rhubarb, and Claire harvested me a further two pounds from our patches at home. I don't think she trusts me not to destroy our plants. There is one stalk from her grandmother's patch and three from Shirley's (which is the pinkest of the lot).
I sliced each stalk thinly and put them all in my bucket. I have covered this with fourteen-and-a-half pints of boiling water and will leave it just over 24 hours.
When I got home from work on Monday evening, 13th May, I added six pounds of sugar, the yeast and two teaspoons of nutrient. Then on Friday I transferred it all into the demijohns, sieving out the rhubarb while listening to Michael Tippet's First Symphony on Radio 3. This was a long, sticky process but has produced a delightful candy-pink liquid. I have not filled the demijohns to the neck as I suspect the fermentation will be violent.
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