Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Summer Veggies becoming Fall Soups

This week has been our first taste of some much lower temperatures so I decided to warm myself up with a bowl of hot soup...using only the fresh veggies I happened to have left on hand.

It turned out delicious!

I'll call it:

 Creamy Bell Pepper and Potato Soup

2 large potatoes per person
3 chopped bell peppers
1/2 medium onion
1 can or two cups chicken stock
3 cloves garlic
1 large turnip
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream
6 sprigs dill
2 tbsp butter
2 cups milk

  • Bring to a rolling boil, let cook until potatoes are thoroughly cooked.  Mine cooked probably about 20 minutes.
  • Mash potatoes, add butter and milk then return to heat.
  • Return to a boil, add sour cream to desired level of "creaminess".
  • Add a few more fresh dill sprigs and enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homemade Wine 2012

We have just bottled and are enjoying our first batch of wine!

The peach wine is very sweet and light and the plum is more dry, red and tart.

I'll give you a brief explanation of the wine-making process, now that we have successfully made our first batch.
  • Weigh out fruit, place in a knee high stocking or cheesecloth, squeeze out as much juice as possible into clean 2.5 gallon bucket.  Add water.
  • Weigh sugar, add to juice, stir then take out a sample and measure the specific gravity. Usually it should be around 1.10. You will need a hygrometer for this step, one came with our starter kit.
  • Add your preservatives and stir. Place it in a cool dark spot, in 24 hours add the yeast. Let ferment for another 5-7 days until specific gravity reaches the next goal point as stated in your recipe.


  • Next you will siphon your juice into the glass carboy, fill it to near the top with water, and place your airlock on the lid.

  • Let sit for about a month or two until they clear.
  • We siphoned each off again into a second clean carboy to get the juice off of the sediment.  Then we let it sit for another month.  At this time you can test the specific gravity again to be sure it has reached the proper alcohol content.  0.9 equals about 12% alcohol content.
  • Then the final step is the best part...bottling! Siphon into a clean bucket, add more stabilizers, water, and sugar (if needed) then siphon into clean bottles and cork.  Store bottles on their side so the corks will absorb some and the wine and swell to completely seal the bottle.
  • And if you have some that won't fill another bottle, then put it in a mason jar and enjoy immediately!

Currently we have grape wine in the glass carboy, they should be another month or so until they are ready, and muscadines are in the primary fermenting bucket.

The muscadine wine should be ready by Christmas!