Posts Tagged ‘wild larder’

Winter Solstice

This post is a bit late, but we celebrated the Winter Solstice this year.  The solstice was June 22.  Now that we are trying to grow food seasonally, it feels fitting to mark the passing of the seasons of the year and to celebrate the return of the longer sunlight hours.  This should also mean that our chickens start to come back on the lay, or for those who haven’t laid yet, come into lay.  Laying is linked to sunlight exposure, so the return of longer sunlight hours is definitely cause to celebrate.  We have not had one single egg since the end of May!  We have had to go back to buying supermarket eggs!

We had some friends over for dinner and cooked up some goat in the weberate and ate food from our gardens.  We exchanged preserves from our Autumn harvest – pickled green tomatoes, pickled chillies, lemon butter mmm… And it seemed very fitting!

The younger kids had fun roasting marshmallows over a fire, while the adults (and nearly adults) mulled wine (here is a link to the recipe – it was just stunning).

Apparently I was having too much fun to take photos on the night but here are a few of the preparations – making the lemon butter, lemon candles and the the yule log themed table centerpiece.

All the ingredients for the lemon butter

Simmering and thickening the lemon butter

Liquid sunshine

Lemon candle - made from the left over lemon skins

And a couple of the Yule log. I know traditionally you are supposed to burn the Yule log, but I liked this idea better.

Winter colourful greenery from the hedge trees between us and a neighbour

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Winemaking

Friends of the family who own a vineyard recently had such a poor harvest they couldn’t even sell it, so kindly gave us around 30kg of Riesling grapes.  We spent a night (8ish till midnight) whizzing and squeezing the grapes, then pouring the juice, litre at a time, into a borrowed glass carboy.

30 kilos of Riesling grapes

The juicing and squeezing process

Filling up...

Filling up...

Full!

Some of the waste

Ten days later

The colour of the juice has lightened a lot over the last 10 days.  Presumably the juicing process allowed a lot of oxidation, and the subsequent anaerobic fermentation has re-reduced it.  Yay CO2, our fizzy friend.

The smell at the airlock is amazing – smells like the freshly popped cork of a nice, yeasty champagne.

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