Monday, May 19, 2008

Strawberry Explosion!

Today, we had to work on the Strawberry wine that we started last week. We mashed 7 pounds of strawberries, steeped them in 2 gallons of boiling water and lemon juice, stirred daily and inhaled the lovely aroma of strawberries. We were to strain out the strawberry pulp and add 5 pounds of sugar then supposed to wait another week before we pour the wine into wine bottles.

We were using the largest container we could find, which was this 5 gallon glass jar we had. It was perfect for the job and was more than half full with all the strawberries and water in it. When we were half way done with straining out the pulp, we poured half of the liquid back into the cleaned-out jar and added the 5 pounds of sugar. I was in the kitchen working on the other half of the liquid and Hubby was stirring in the sugar. The jar broke!

I heard Hubby yell and when I looked, all I saw was red liquid all over the table and the floor! Apparently the repeated hits from the spoon we used to stir the wine caused the jar to break. Hubby managed to tilt the jar but we lost about 1 1/2 gallons of wine.

See the big hole in the jar? Boo hoo! The jar will be missed!

This is my improvised hanger for the pulp in the straining cloth to drip out the juice.

We debated throwing out the rest of the wine, but we still had over a gallon of wine that needed to be strained, still. So we decided to forge ahead, and I strained the wine in the jar for any glass pieces (there were none, it broke in 3 large bits) and we transferred the remainder of the wine to an over-turned cake cover. We estimated how much more sugar to add and hopefully, the final results will be alright. We have to wait a whole year to know if we did the right thing, but I can tell you it does smell a little wine-y now. Hopefully, we turned lemons into lemonade. Keep your fingers crossed!

We did a number of things to all the strawberries we brought home-- froze 2 gallons worth of whole berries for smoothies and add-ins; made 10 pints of strawberry jam (one is almost gone!); made fruit leather (gone already!) and the strawberry wine. Oh! and I can't forget all the snacks we had with the strawberries, too, everything from berries and real cream to berries on yogurt and ice cream and just walking by the flat of berries and grabbing a couple. I would like to make one more trip to the farm for more berries, to make more jam and freeze another gallon, because the price is right-- $1.80 a pound, and because they are so, so yummy! Wait and see how it goes, I still need to finish planting the garden and it is supposed to be nice this weekend.


Wendy said...

Oh, bummer about the jar! Glad you were able to save some, and I really am looking forward to hearing how your "experiment" tastes.

Karen Mayes said...

*whew* about no glass pieces...

Following your blog is kind of like reading Foxfire books (remember them which were published in 1980's? I loved them!)

You are our deaf Foxfire person ;o)

Lantana said...

Bummer, Ifeel for you guys! I love wine. I have seen those jars for sale in places that sell aparatus to make home made beer. Is it the same kind of a jar? Watch at the garage sales! Good luck. (P.S. next time use a wooden spoon).


DJ Kirkby said...

Oh please will you share your recipies for the strawb jam and leather? Glad you managed to salvedge some wine!

jenny said...

Wendy-- I think we will make another batch, just to be on the safe side and have some wine that does work out instead of being caught with wine that doesn't taste so good. Any excuse to go back to the strawberry fields! :o)

Karen-- I DO remember those Foxfire books. I'm tickled that you compare me to them! You've made my day! :o)

Lantana-- Actually it was an old jar we picked up somewhere. I'm pretty sure it was vintage, but I'm not going to cry about it! We have 2 other old jars, but we will go and get some food-grade plastic buckets for the next batch!

Dj, recipes coming up! I'll be making more jam this week, so stick around! :o)