Saturday, September 25, 2010

Worth More Than You Think

You could use plums, damsons or blackberries to make this (said to be) excellent wine, and perhaps - if you feel inventive - mix together some of each. If you are looking for a rich dark wine - use damsons.
Autumn Fruits Wine:
1 lb ripe chosen fruit (see above)
2 pints boiling water
Put the fruit into an earthenware bowl and pour over the boiling water. Let it stand for 5 days, stirring well each morning. Strain through muslin, squeezing the bag to remove as much juice as possible.
To every quart (2 pints) juice, add 1 lb (450g) sugar, stirring to dissolve, then pour into clean bottles, covering the tops with paper held tightly round the neck with string (or a rubber band). Prick the paper in several places with a needle to allow gases to escape. Leave bottles to stand for 4 weeks, then strain again, bottle and cork well. In a week the wine should be ready to drink.
Important Note: fermentation could still go on once the wine is bottled, so allow for this. Presumably, corked bottles will 'pop their corks' when under too much pressure. If using screw cap bottles, unscrew slightly (without removing cap completely - you don't want to let air in) every week to release any excess pressure, before screwing back up again. If there is no pressure, then check less often, but always make sure or you could end up with exploding bottles.

Have to say I'm a great 'rinser out'. The last dregs in the tomato ketchup and HP sauce bottles are always kept until time to have water added, to be - after a good shake - poured into the spag bol meat sauce being made, or a soup. Mayonnaise bottles will have a little hot water poured in, then again given a good shake - this makes a very thin mayo (to this a bit of yogurt could be blended) and poured over various salads to make a dressing that coats the food rather than the gloopy dollop that normally comes from the jar.

Almost empty Marmite jars - with a rinse of hot water - also make a good 'stock' to add to a casserole, and canned foods - especially chopped tomatoes - have a lot of the contents still stuck to the sides of the cans, and with water added, a shake given, poured into whatever is being cooked, leaving no waste and a clean can to dispose of.

Even detergent bottles - when 'empty' - will have a little hot water poured in, for there is always enough detergent still clinging to the inside of the plastic to ensure there will be enough to wash another load of pots. More often than not - when the container is almost empty, I squeeze it tightly and hold the top (with the squirty bit still fitted) under the hot tap and then release the pressure and the water is sucked into the bottle. Give it a good shake and then a lot more (weaker) detergent is there to be used.