Saturday, January 09, 2010

There's no business, like snow business

Well,with the weather outside making polar bears shiver and hide in fear of frost bite, it gives me a great chance to try and catch up on some of last year's happenings.

Time to go back to the old days in Autumn when we were working on our larder. Ok, maybe not a larder, but more a cellar. It was more about liqueurs than long term foods. So previously, you saw apple and pear liqueurs and the last real Autumnal post was about the frosts kicking off in Sokolka.

So first things first was to harvest.
After the frost, the grapes have a nice sweetness as well as some more complex tannins.We had to harvest before Hagus the grape eating dog got to them.Ok, it is getting heavy now.But I will need some help to get it into the box from here.So then we have a box full of fresh Sokolka grapes.
So we get home and remove the grapes from the bunches and start the mashing.
We keep mashing.......Till we can mash no more!
This pulp then gets mixed with equal measures of vodka and brandy and a small amount of brown sugar dissolved in warm water. It was then set aside in a large preserving jar to sit and release its flavours. It was shaken at least once a week and kept in the dark. The next post will follow this.

Also on the same grape harvesting day, we attacked the remaining plums. As you can see, the trees have lost all of their leaves due to the intense cold snap. So this meant that the plums were much easier to see!
They just hung around waiting to get picked.
Collecting plums must be fun according to the glee on Marty's face anyway.So upon the return to Warsaw, I washed the plums.
Then removed their stones
and cut them in quarters
Next I put them into a small pot and added a cup of brown sugar, as they were a little tarty.
Then after about 3 hours of simmering them, enough to remove lots of excess water and make it quite thick, I was able to bottle it, or is that jar it?

I must admit that this plum jam, or sliwkowy dzem as it is in Polish, is untried. I am thinking we will crack it open sometime around my birthday. A vintage dzem!

No comments:

Me on Google+