Archive for the ‘gin’ Tag

11-06-2015 Journal – Shopping, Eating, & Drinking!   Leave a comment

This is the second chapter of our visit with my better-half’s family members as we made our way through the streets of Portland, Maine.  For this late in the year this Sunday was absolutely perfect.  Sunny and warm with lots of people on the streets enjoying what remains of our Indian Summer.  I wore my comfortable shoes in preparation for hours of walking and shopping with the ladies.  It was all of that and more.

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Portland offers a crazy selection of coffee shops, galleries, and gift shops and it felt like we visited all of them.  The women shopped and we men were dragged kicking and screaming through the streets waiting desperately for food and drink, and even a cigars for one of us.

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We were in and out of so many different shops and I’m not kidding when I say we could have purchased damn near anything.  Look at these little gems we found displayed on the sidewalk and before you make any comments, I didn’t buy any.

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‘For shopper’s who need a little weirdness in their lives.’

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Our final stop was at our favorite tavern, Three Dollar Dewey’s, for a healthy four course meal of Gin, popcorn, nacho’s, french fries, and a delicious piece of strawberry shortcake.

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We had our fill of food and drink and returned to the car feeling fat and sassy.  It was a short ride home where we could kick back and relax a little more. The visitors needed a good nights sleep before their departure the next morning as they headed south for Rhode Island. 

WE CONTINUE TO ENJOY THIS INDIAN SUMMER

05-22-2013   Leave a comment

Today I get to play winemaker.  I’ve been making homemade wines for more than twenty years and plan on making it for twenty more.  My better-half became so interested that she began making her own batches about five years ago.  She leans toward berry wines and her specialty has become Tripleberry Wine. It’s made from a mix of blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.  I have to admit it’s damn tasty and goes well with almost any dish.

For years I only made your basic wines.  Some were made from fresh fruit while other were made from professionally produced concentrates.  I’ve always tried to be creative with my winemaking and I’ve even made excellent wine from the fruit of the Mountain Ash tree.  My all time favorite over the years has been dandelion wine made from blossoms collected from nearby fields. It’s a killer to make because you sit for hours removing only the yellow petals.  The first time I attempted making it I found out much too late that rubber gloves should be worn.  I had really disgusting yellow fingers and hands for weeks.

I enjoy experimenting a great deal and in recent years have made a number of cooking wines which turned out rather well.  I first made onion and garlic wine which turned out to be an incredible marinade.  Then I made twenty-five bottles of habanero wine to be used for marinades and cooking.  I found as time went by it actually became hotter as it sat in the bottle.  Some people actually like drinking it but that’s not for me.  If your doing a stir-fry adding a cup of it will spark things up nicely.  Again a safety tip, when making anything with habaneros wear a double layer of latex gloves.

Today is bottling day for a fifteen bottle batch of the better-half’s wine and a twenty-five bottle batch of my latest experiment, gin wine.  I’m a big fan of gin but drinking the hard stuff is a little much sometimes.  I decided to make a wine out of the same ingredients that actual gin brewers use.  If recent taste tests are any indicator this batch isn’t all that good.  It has an alcohol content of about ten percent and might just make a great tar remover for our cars.  The smell of gin is there but that’s about it.  It tastes like a cross between battery acid and Lysol.  I’ll bottle up a few bottles for long term storage but the rest will unfortunately be discarded.  The better-half’s Tripleberry tastes great and will be bottled and stored today.

Making wine is always risky and ever so often you’ll get a batch that is just God awful. I’m hoping this summer is hot and sunny making our blackberry crop fat and juicy.  We have a few secret spots in certain areas of the county where we harvest blackberries by the bucket full.  They make the best jams and wines and we’re looking forward to doing it again this summer.

I’ll be sure to have a glass or two today to toast the arrival of Spring and the demise of the gin wine.

11-09-2012   Leave a comment

Well the first winter storm has come and gone with no appreciable damage to our home  or  property.  It’s been sleeting and raining off and on for most of the night but the plus side to that is the snow will be gone in a short time.  It’s a reasonably good start to the 2012/2013 winter when we’ve had 4 inches of snow which required no shoveling.

I spent most of my evening yesterday lounging with my better-half watching a little TV.  I’m not sure who’s responsible for giving television the nickname  “boob tube” but they certainly hit that nail right on the head. I was reading and TV watching and finally finished the first Harry Potter book.  A short time after my better-half went off to bed I  turned off the “tube” and opened up book number two. It was an enjoyable read but it didn’t last very long. I become so relaxed when I read that if I’m not careful I can easily doze off. My solution is to sit in an uncomfortable chair in an uncomfortable position and just read. I stay awake longer and in the long run read much more.

Today’s a new day and I’ve got a lot of errands to run and a list of tasks that need to be taken care of. I was happy to finally receive yesterday afternoon a really nice set of wood carving tools that I ordered from Amazon a week or so ago. I like carving but without the proper tools it’s just a waste of time and energy. I spent an hour or two on an old piece of wood learning what each tool will do and what they won’t do.  It may take me a little time to get the feel for these tools but I think any carvings that I do in the future will be much cleaner and crisper than in the past. I may actually try to do something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time and that is to attempt wood block printing. It’s been a number of years since the last time but it’s a little like sex and bicycle riding, you never forget the basics. That will be another one of my winter projects for this year and should keep me busy in January and February.

Well, I’m finally dressed with my camera in hand and I’m out the door in five minutes.  I need to make a quick stop at a local business that supplies me with winemaking equipment.  We have three batches of wine underway and it won’t be long before the bottling will begin.  I’m in need of corks and a few other odds and ends.  I’ve been experimenting this year with my wines and I’ll find out soon enough if it worked.  I’m a huge fan of Gin but drinking too much of it is not a good idea.  I decided to gather the ingredients used to make Gin and attempt to create a Gin Wine.  I had juniper berries shipped in from California  and in combination with other herbs and spices made a three gallon batch.  Making wine is always an adventure because you never really have any idea how it will turn out even if your following a good recipe.  This experiment has Gin’s aroma but it’s the taste that has me concerned.  Our other batches of Blueberry and Triple Berry (Blueberry, Blackberry, and Strawberry) are in their final stages and I’ve given them my first taste test.  So far so good.

I’m out the door, let the day begin.

Posted November 11, 2012 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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