Sunday, April 26, 2009
I also bottled Apple Raspberry, which isn't shown. I was impressed that you can see the trees through these, and was so darn excited about it all that I ordered a Blackberry Cabernet KIT. I haven't made any from a kit yet, but it sounded intriguing. Supposed to be everything I need but the water and containers. It was. It is now in the secondary fermentor.
I have blueberry started (5 gallons) as well, and a smaller batch of blueberry pomegranite (3 gallons). Tomorrow I will start jalepena pepper wine (1 gallon batch), and Pineapple (also, 1 gallon), and maybe pineapple orange (1 gallon).
I gotta remember to keep my stuff on schedule, so I have empty fermentors and carboys when the rhubarb and dandelions come. I also asked the Milk Man's wife, Heidi, to save some barley at harvest in the fall, for a little barley wine. It sounds like I am getting carried away, but some of it doesn't work out, and some of it does. The raspberry wine was for someone else, and I only took a little for the supplies I used. The blueberries were from my late parents...10 lbs of them...and who can eat that much pie. We would all be obese. And how about the dandelions? There are so many of them just waiting to be plucked.
About that rhubarb...hmm...it makes great pie, crisp, bars, custard, jelly, etc...it gets as bad as zuchinni. You know, you have to lock your house and cars in the fall around here, because if you don't the neighbors leave you zuchinni! Well, it's the same with rhubarb. Not that I mind, but a person needs to be inventive about ways to use all that bounty. (Incidentally, I have found a recipe for zuchinni wine, which I REFUSE to try. That seems to go a bit far.)
Well, the fam is in for supper, and of course it was a chore to do chores. Maybe a smidgen of raspberry wine and some good hot food will tame the savage beasts. Or not. Night all.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We were only there for about a half an hour, and the fire got MUCH bigger, and LENGTHENED out over more acres.
Below are before and after...pictures taken a half an hour apart. Sorry about the double image, but my daughter was pretty excited.
Here are a final shot as we left. There were people out there, all over like ants, trying to fight this fire. This picture was taken about a half a mile away. The thing had at least tripled in size in the short time we were there. My husband and brother in law went back to see if they could help...Will try to supply after pics in the morning. Although there are no homes in the direct path of this fire, if it crosses the gravel road there will be. Pray hard for those fighting it and near it. The wind is picking up here...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The kids checked up on her yesterday and found one kitten deceased, and the others Itty-Bitty had moved to a hole in the straw bales in the hay mow. Still reachable. We have an order for one baby kitten (from our cousin). We will try to keep them socialized so they are easier to give away when the time comes. Maybe she will take two!!!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The white PVC transfers the sap to the tank. At the end of the PVC is a sock that filters crud out of the sap as it gets dumped.
Here is the little reader that tells us the sugar content of the sap. This tells the sweetness. Much of the sap this year reads a 30:1 sugar content, so for every 30 gallons of sap, you will get 1 gallon of syrup.
This is Merlin's evaporator. First, he runs the sap through a reverse osmosis machine and removes a good share of the water, then he cooks it down and stores it in barrels. It's a sticky job.
This is where the sap comes out of the evaporator. It's really hot!! This is set up to automatically draw off the sap as it reaches the right time.
That is Merlin. He looses a lot of sleep this time of year. But sticky, sweet, and loosing sleep, it's a great job!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This is called a sugar snow, and it gets its name from the timeliness of the event. We are Wisconsin Sap suckers, those of us who tap maple trees for their bounty of sap for Maple Syrup...This dusting of snow will boost the sap and actually tell the trees to give us more! It's a great event, even though we are tired of this white stuff. Kids got up and said, "oohhaww" which, roughly translated means they are equally sick of the snow.
I, personally, don't like mud, which is prevelant in the spring. The milk truck comes up our driveway and sinks, and makes ruts up to 18" deep. I am SO glad we don't have to deal with dirt roads to much. I tore the exhaust off my poor jeep last week! It is not fun. My sewing customers have had to walk up the driveway for a while now. Doesn't seem to phase them, however. Spring is indeed in the air.
Here are a few more pics, then it's off to Northern MN for the day. My brother lives in Milaca and he says there is no snow there. They are grilling out today. MMMMMM. Obviously I am NOT grilling out today...Or riding bike...I could make a snowman.