4-25-2014. Journal Entry – No Wine Before It’s Time!   Leave a comment

I’ve been boring the hell out of everyone lately with the trials and tribulations with my garden and my DIY projects.  I apologize for that but only just a little.  My main goal for April was to get all of my old projects put to bed before I start creating new ones or “God Forbid” before my better-half does.

We both let a number of things slide last Fall when I broke my leg.  I decided today to do one chore I’ve come to hate and one I’ve always loved to do.  The first task was to empty my huge dehydrator that has contained five pounds of habanero peppers, one pound of cayenne peppers, and a tray or two of red chilies, for more than a month.  I kept procrastinating because after drying them thoroughly they must be ground into a fine powder.  I’ve done it many times before but it’s a nasty job.

The last time I attempted it I paid a horrible price.  As I began grinding up the peppers the dust from the grinder filled my man-cave very quickly.  I was forced to flee when I couldn’t stop sneezing.  Along with the sneezing my face was on fire.  I was smart enough to wear latex gloves but I quickly found out they weren’t thick enough to keep the pepper dust from burning my hands and anything I might accidently touch later in the day.  I won’t get into any intimate details but I had a selection of body parts that felt like they would at any moment burst into flames.  It took the better part of a day for everything to return to normal but I learned a few valuable but painful lessons.

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This time I was wearing yellow dish-washing rubber gloves, ten times thicker than latex, a face mask with an air filter, and a long sleeved shirt.  I was sitting on an upturned bucket on the back porch with an extension cord to run the food grinder.  I thought I had it all covered but once again I was sooooooo wrong.  Within minutes the mask turned into a death trap.  The filter was keeping everything from entering my nostrils including air.  I cracked the mask just enough to get a breath and instead got a nose full of the dreaded pepper dust.  It was all down hill from there and another day of pepper pain awaited me.  I finally finished the job and now I have these three jars of hot pepper dust that I need to use sparingly so I don’t have to do this again any time soon.  I might be forced to rent a SCUBA outfit the next time.

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The second job is a fav.  I need to explain that I’ve been a winemaker since the mid-1980’s. It’s a skill I picked up from my late grandfather whose elderberry wine was to kill for. Late last summer my better-half and I decided to make a batch of blueberry wine made with good old Maine home grown berries.  The wine was almost forgotten with all of our Fall activities, my broken leg,  and the holidays.  It’s been sitting for the last ten months in my man-cave and today I shook off my laziness and bottled it.

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And here’s the finished product.

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Of course a good winemaker always tastes his final product and I tasted the hell out of it.  I was as surprised as anyone when it turned out to be possibly the best wine we’ve made in the last ten years.  I’m going to find a dark corner of my wine cellar and hide it for a few more months. It should be spectacular by then.

And our Spring continues to roll right along.

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