My winemaking equipment arrived this week. Rather than use up all my tediously plucked dandelion petals on my very first batch, I thought I should try something simple to start. I decided to make apple wine as my beginning experiment. For one thing, apple juice is notoriously easy to ferment. For another, using apple juice purchased in glass jars means the empty jars can be used as fermentation jugs, saving having to order more.
I found that my local Williams-Sonoma store was giving a demonstration on techniques for making quiche and tarts. Since quiche is one of my main go-to items for meals, I figured it would be nice to see what they had to say. It was an interesting demonstration, mostly useful for the advice on preparing a flaky crust from scratch, which is something I never do (but would like to). It was also fun to watch the demonstration of how to make lemon curd in a Vita-Mix for a tart filling.
After that, I went to the nearby Whole Foods to pick up some apple juice. I was holding one jar in each hand, and I must have brought my hands too close together, because the jars clinked...and one shattered, spilling juice all over me and the floor. Not only was it embarrassing to make a mess, I then had to walk out into the biting wind with soaked jeans, not to mention take the bus home smelling like juice. Fun times.
At least I did manage to make it home without further incident. Though it was windy, the rain was mostly holding off, so I went out back to the garden and planted eight potatoes. I'm planning to grow eight more as a fall crop, plus several in pots. I also planted eight of my leek seedlings. I spent the remainder of the afternoon trimming weeds.
In the evening, I got the apple wine started in the primary fermenter (a plastic bucket). Since I added a Campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite) to prevent any wild organisms from growing in the juice, I had to wait another day to add the wine yeast, so that it wouldn't be affected.
This morning, after washing quite a lot of dishes, I worked on trimming more weeds. Some of the taller grassy weeds are starting to go to seed, so I'm trying to get rid of as much of that as possible. In the afternoon, I transplanted a number of strawberry plants into bigger and better pots. If all goes well, I should have an almost obscenely bountiful crop of strawberries this year.