Saturday 6th February was a dismal day. I woke to heavy rain and it did not let up throughout the lighted hours. When Claire suggested that I drive to collect the week's groceries rather than walk to Chapel Allerton, I took little persuading. Whilst I prefer to buy my parsnips from the independent Fruit Stall, carrying home 4 lbs of them together with my other shopping in a downpour would have been entirely miserable, so I drove to Sainsbury's instead.
|Prunes and Parsnips|
I left the wine-making until Sunday, 7th February, which was a much more productive and happy day. I managed to have a 5 mile walk, do a modicum of bassoon practice, make a 'Fly Leg' cake (no flies were harmed in the process) and make my Prune & Parsnip wine. The wine making was done whilst listening to the whole of Hansel and Gretel on Radio 3 - such a fabulous opera, and I know nothing else by Humperdinck.
|Parsnips, sliced and in the pan of water|
Anyway, to make the wine I sliced 4 lbs of parsnips into small bits and put them into 16 pints of cold water, bringing this up to the boil and then simmering for 20 minutes. (This was done in two lots.) Meanwhile, I snipped up 1 lb of prunes, each prune into 4 or so pieces, and put these in my bucket along with 5 lbs 8 oz sugar. When the parsnips had boiled their 20 minutes, I poured the water into the bucket through a colander and threw out the vegetables.
|An enthusiastic fermentation|
On Monday morning I added a teaspoon of pectolase, a teaspoon and a half of nutrient and two teaspoons of yeast (though I started the yeast first in a jug with a bit of sweetened water, because I am suspicious of this yeast brand). The wine fermented enthusiastically in its bucket until Saturday morning, 13th February, at which point I put it into its two demijohns, this time listening to Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite. The wine is far lighter, far more golden, than it has ever been before.
|The wine in its demijohns|