November, finally. Look at that sky!
I could go for a walk and throw rocks at birds. Yesterday my friend and his oldest boy dropped apples off at my door. They picked them from a tree on side of the city street, that no one else has ever picked for fear of nature, or themselves, or machines not gasoline powered. People were filing into a local church looking at them, as if my friend and his boy were crazy top, and not the other way around. Free fat apples! Or, a $1.69/lb. at the superduper market. They gave me supply until Christmas.
Here is a tale and a country wine recipe from Cookbook For The Poor. Happy Daylight Savings!
Blackberry Wine Bubbling Inside Me
Mediocre wines can be made from the wild produce of New York State. I know. I have made them. Six gallons are fermenting beside me. 25 pounds of blackberries, some vine yeast, sugar, campden tablets, patience and prickers, will make a suitable vintage for my winter doom-dreaming. Wild apples, dandelion flowers, pears, peaches, and rosehips work well too. Although beware, the latter has a very high vitamin C content and turns the contents of your bowel into falling waters.
One can build a room in the basement, away from the furnace, on the north side, and store the wine for years.
The governments have lost our allegiance, the neighbors fear the neighbors, parents have forsaken the rod, and all this at a time when the ice sheets are melting.
It will be 90 degrees today at the summit of an Adirondack mountain, two thousand feet above sea level. It is September. The last time such has happened was never, in the memory of anyone we have ever known.
Yes, there are deniers of heat stroke, I guess.
Why can’t our nosy scientists just stick to the discovery of heavenly bodies and penicillin in a fungus?
I say invest in carboys, made in Italy, and raise grapes on the mountain top of your choice. Perhaps even McKinley in a decade or two.
What is wrong with me?
A loaded question.
I am all the wrong of everyone, ever. How nice to live in such miraculous Western luxury. I actually have anxiety over the potential purchase of a computer. As if my life, just for rolling out of the womb, is worth the sloppy, wet slime of a blind slug! A family of nine in Chad has anxiety too. Mom’s eyes are bugging out of her head.
“Our family makes the equivalent of 18 American dollars a week. We are thin and strong, but hot. Jesus Christ, it’s hot here in Chad!”
I am never guilty for the riches I declare. I deserve toilet paper and high speed Internet, because I am entitled to them via the coordinates of my birth. 43.096569ºN 75.231887ºW.
I should be thankful for my founding fathers. Their sacrifices have made me insanely safe. Pat my bottom with talc and perfume. Thank you African races for coming here against your will, and building many amazing things with your big Chad hands. I like what the economy has accomplished in five hundred years. It has turned all men of my locale into very rich sissies. Even the Indians.
The Chadese men sit atop their donkeys on a hot day, and watch the women do everything under the sun. Their women feed them, wash them, fill their abusive captors up with water from the poo well. All this for a half teaspoon of sperm per child, per year. The typical Chad mom rises with the hot sun and sets in motion an exhaustive procurement of dinner. An all day affair, with the tireless help of the little girls. The Chad men and boys sit atop donkeys and in government, finding all kinds of hot places to shoot their excited wittle spermies.
The women work here too. From time out of mind. They finally have the men eating out of their hands, and yet are too stupid, bearing the wealth of Croesus, to poison us ding-dongs during our baby sleep. One man holding a cell phone to an ear, standing in the supermarket, facing the taco dinners, has called home to the Great Mother requesting a brand. His head sliced off and rolling down the busy aisle would provide short-lived, shocking entertainment and a small inconvenience to the Great Mother, who would have to take time in her car (worth twenty year’s salary of her Chadese counterpart) to come purchase the boxed taco dinner (worth one days’ Chadese salary).
Some would cry for the murdered father. At best he was a cheerful, useless clown, out of the way most of the time. At worst he was a part of the reason why I shall write to my daughters about wine making and vegetable gardens. As soon as possible, before my head gets rolled into a pit.
Grow one kind of many vegetables, in order to save the seed without cross-pollinating. Certain plants need to start indoors, maybe, depending on the congestion of the atmosphere at this latitude a quarter-century from now.
Hey big American Dad, how would you protect the kids? Where is the danger? From burglars? You have your big guns don’t you? Even the neighbor across the street covets them. So they’re kept locked up in a safe, a loaded .38 in the top drawer. You are protected. A sound trigger finger. Afraid to say “Hi” to the neighbor family because how uncomfortable to build a trusting relationship before thumping lead through those invasive bastards.
Crunch your whole personality to squeeze into the 33´ by 100´ lot the state provides for an annual fee. Pretend it’s actually yours. Go inside and become the protector. Teach fear and ignorance, pretending liberty and strength. Use profanity, the sex and violent kind, where there’s always some proof of a hot lust murder lurking from behind the fog of your eyes. After showing your babies on the movie screen how a teenage nipple is just as good to suck as a summer sour drop, after the 100,000 “buy me” commercials, after the cartoon episodes, where the daughter sneaks a package of hot dogs into her bedroom so she can press them up her hole pretending each to be a member of the N.Y. Knicks basketball team… after the culture of inert apathy, even with massive daily doses of high fructose corn syrup, bong toking with your boy, strip teasing of your girl… big Dad, tell me, how could you believe their protection was secured? They have been cornered already, these wild-eyed virgins. Made totally helpless by a coward’s worship of his fear, and blind faith in the fast-filth culture.
Some of you good dads (moms too!) hide quite well behind Jesus or Muhammad or the teachings of the Talmud. Let me say this… I know Jesus. I know it better than all of you. Jesus, like any miraculously sentient raccoon with a conscience, would take that awesome firepower out of the safe, and shove it down the throat of anyone in a position of power, demanding the abrupt change in contemporary human behavior, now, right now damn it, before the lights go out.
Wherever blackberries grow in summer. This recipe will make 5 gallons of red wonder.
You will need to invest. I highly recommend it since the payback is a lifetime and carries over to posterity. Find a wine supply store or a friend who can use a credit card on the Internet. Promise barter of finished wine later. Purchase the following:
5 gallon carboy
Container sodium metabisulfite
Rubber stopper with hole through middle (for airlock)
6 gallon bucket
2 foot square of 1 mil plastic wrap, or equivalent
2-3 feet string
10 pounds sugar
1½ tablespoons yeast nutrient
1½ tablespoons acid blend
1½ tablespoons pectic enzyme
All purpose or Bordeaux wine yeast (1 package good for 5 gallons of wine)
10 campden tablets
Wine/beer siphon hose
24 wine bottles
Borrowed corker (about $20.00 if suffering windfall)
The sodium metabisulfite is for sterilizing equipment. Dissolve 1 ounce in 1 gallon of water. Store in a glass container marked with skull and crossbones. Rinse over all equipment when putting together wine, such as bowls, metal spoons, buckets, carboy, etc.
Go outside with a bowl or bucket when blackberries are heavy on the vine. Dress for mosquito defense. Late July into early August in my locale. Pick blackberries and drop into bucket. Best to pick on cool day when wind is blowing. You will need You will need 20-25 pounds of fruit.
In 6 gallon bucket add blackberries, sugar, yeast nutrient, acid blend, pectic enzyme, 5 crushed campden tablets, and water up to 5 gallon level in bucket (preferably filtered water). Stir to dissolve sugar in water. Cover with plastic. Tie string around to hold plastic wrap to cover. Wait 24 hours.
In small bowl add yeast and a cup of liquid from your 5 gallon mixture. Let stand ten minutes. Add this to dandelion mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Now for the next eight days, once every morning and once at night, stir mixture with broom handle or equivalent. It will be bubbling and stink up the room good and proper. But a good stink, truly.
On eighth day strain contents into carboy. Top off with filtered water. That is bring liquid up to neck of carboy, about 3 inches below top.
Pour sodium metabisulfite up to marker line in airlock and push into stopper. Stick stopper into carboy mouth.
Within 24 hours you will hear blup-blup of glorious wine.
Put in darkest and coolest area in hovel. Ferment until clear, about three weeks to a couple months.
Rack. That is, siphon wine above sediment level into 6 gallon bucket. Throw away cloudy dregs. Pour, with help of wide funnel, back into the cleaned carboy that has five new crushed campden tablets in it. Top to original level with filtered water. Attach airlock. Put away again until early autumn.
Wash bottles. Siphon wine into each bottle a ½ up into neck (when corked there must remain ¾ inch “air” space between wine level and cork).
Cork with special tool. Read directions.
Keep wine standing upright for a week to make sure corks do not rise or blow off. Then cellar, or put under bed if landlord won’t let you use the cellar.
Wait as long as you can to uncork a bottle and drink. The wine will improve with age.