Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tomato Wine Update

Racked it to another carboy and added glass beads to bring the level up to compensate for the loss when the fiber from the tomatoes settled out. It is a beautiful golden color now and the alcohol content is around 15%

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tomato Wine

OK, besides the Jalapeno (cooking) wine I made last year, this has to be the strangest wine/mead I have tried to make LOL.

I used 4 lbs of fresh tomatoes from my garden and fermented in a 2 gallon bucket for a week. I just transferred it to a 1-gal glass carboy through a funnel with a filter to finish fermented and settling. It has a beautiful color so far!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cat Paw Scarf Pattern

**edited to add: If you are a Ravelry member, you can download the PDF file for this pattern for free:

Below is the pattern I used for the cat paw scarf with the alternating paws that look they are walking up the scarf. I hope I did not make any changes while knitting, so please let me know if there are any errors.

Cat Paw Scarf
cast on 29 sts

NOTE: knit all even (WS) rows

Row Instructions
1, 3, 7, 11: knit
5: k2, [k2tog, yo] 12 times, k3
7: knit
9: k2, k2tog, yo, k21, yo, k2tog, k2

Row Instructions
1: k2, k2tog, yo, k4, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, k12, yo, k2tog, k2
3: k7, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, k15
5: k2, k2tog, yo, k5, k2tog, yo, k14, yo, k2tog, k2
7, 11, 15, 23, 27, 31: knit
9, 13, 25, 29: k2, k2tog, yo, k21, yo, k2tog, k2
17: k2, k2tog, yo, k12, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, k2
19: k15, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, k7
21: k2, k2tog, yo, k13, k2tog, yo, k6, yo, k2tog, k2

Repeat rows 1-31 to desired length

Repeat rows 1-28

k2, [k2tog, yo] 12 times, k3

knit 4 rows and BO

I tried to format this better, but the Blog software removed the extra tabs and spaces.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Latest Knitting Project

This pattern is called Cece and is a nice cover-up over thinner shirts for the mild winters we have here. This is from Shine Sport cotton yarn from KnitPicks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kyle's White Socks

Kyle wanted some plain white socks from the bamboo cotton yarn, so I made him these. Not so "plain" but he likes them. I purled the soles and toes so the smooth stockinette stitch was on the inside for his sensitive feet.

New Lace Shawl

Just finished another lace shawl in a midnight blue color. These pics were taken while it is being blocked so it still has the pins in it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Clandestine Sock - One Finished

These are the most stunning socks I have ever knitted!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Illuminati Wine

My husband just had to have this one -too funny! It is actually pretty good - nice complex flavor with enough tannins to be interesting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Clandestine Socks

This is a stunning pattern and takes a lot of concentration, but it is worth it. I hand-dyed the yarn and it didn't turn out the way I envisioned, but I like the way it did turn out LOL.

Cabled Sweater

This is my latest creation - a cabled sweater knitted with a cotton blend yarn so I can wear it int he hot months, which is 9 months out of the year here! I love the way the cables flowed together on this pattern.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Extra Special Bitter

The latest beer creation from my husband - Extra Special Bitter. It was his first attempt at an all-grain beer and he didn't use enough grains so it is a little on the weak side, but so far has a beautiful copper color and wonderful flavor.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dragon's Blood!


2-1/2 lbs my Summer 2009 honey
2 oz honey from another beekeeper's hive
32 oz Just Tart Cherry Juice by R.W. Knudsen
32 oz Black Cherry Juice by R.W. Knudsen
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
1/8 tsp pectin
EC-1118 Lalvin yeast

This turned out wonderful! It is about 15% alcohol and it has a tart, cherry flavor and hasn't even aged yet. I put in 20 grams of medium toasted oak cubes in a sock filter to the secondary for 2 weeks and it added a bit of depth to the flavor.

The color is absolutely beautiful and the picture doesn't do it justice, but here it is:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jalapeno Wine

I named it Hot Momma Wine and so far it is very interesting LOL. I just removed the japapenos and golden raisins today from the fermentation bucket and racked it to a glass carboy. It is about 8% alcohol now after a week and still going gangbusters. I am using a champagne yeast EC-1118 so it should ferment to dry.

Here is my fermentation cupboard as of today:

Left to right are: jalapeno wine, apple cyser, pear/apple mead, orange spiced mead, cherry mead aging with toasted oak chips. The three clear ones are ready to bottle - probably next weekend. May remove the oax chips and bottle the cherry also, depending on how it tastes.

I also have a black currant mead with raisins that is in the primary fermentation stage but is slowing down and may be ready to rack to secondary by next weekend also:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Farmhouse Cheddar

Made our first batch of regular cheese with the kit I bought my husband for Christmas and it turned out very tasty!

Here is is after we cooked it and poured it into the mold:

This cheese only takes an 8-pound weight to press out the moisture so we used a gallon jug of water:

And here is the finished product:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Firsr Beer Homebrew Batches

My husband wanted in on the homebrewing hobby, so I got him the equipment to make his own beer for Christmas. We just bottled the first 4 gallons this weekend and he made some clever labels for each batch.

The first one is a blonde beer he named "Kyle's Dumb Blonde". The cat is ours and her name is Princess. She is sweet as can be and has the most gorgeous blue eyes (she's half Siamese), but she is dumb as a stump. LOL

The next one is an oatmeal porter and he put a llama on this one:

The last 2 batches were red ales named "Sarah's Gift Red" and he found a pic of me in my bee suit for the label :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Caridgan for Kyle

I finished a cardigan for my husband Kyle. I used Knit picks Shine Sport cotton yarn and it turned out so soft and it even fits!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Brew Cabinet

Got my husband the equipment to make beer for Christmas so we have some very interesting smells in the cabinet under the oven! We have 7 gallons of brew and mead going right now. I have bottled off 4 gallons of mead already but none are aged enough to enjoy yet (notice I didn't mention "drink" yet LOL).

The brews we have going from left to right in the back row are: dark beer, apple-pear-raisin cyser, apple-date-raisin cyser, orange spiced mead. In the front row from left to right: lighter beer, tart cherry-black cherry-almond melomel, black cherry-concord pyment.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Stovetop Coffee Roaster

Ok, I know it looks like a popcorn popper, but you use it to roast green coffee beans! We tried it tonight and it made wonderful coffee.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Made some ricotta cheese tonight. My recipe was 2 quarts whole milk and 1/2 quart buttermilk. Heated it to 180 and cooked it between 185 and 195 for 35 minutes. Poured into colander lined with cheese cloth to drain for 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Butternut Squash

I used my new pressure canner last night that my Dad sent me as an early Christmas/Birthday present and it works great!

You have to pressure-can any low acid foods like vegetables in order to get the temperature high enough to kill off the botulism. I was originally planning on making butternut squash soup and can that, but found out the only safe way to can winter squash is in cubes.

I ended up with 5 quarts of butternut squash from my Fall garden. So, to make the soup I will just have to saute up some onion and garlic and throw a quart of squash into my food processor along with some hot chicken broth, seasonings and cream cheese - yum!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Bottling of My Meads

I don't have labels for my bottles yet. I got 3 bottles of each of my 3 meads with several glasses left over for tonight ;-). In the glasses I have the grape pyment on the left, the Joe's Ancient Orange with commerical honey on the right and the same JAO recipe with my dark Fall hone from last year. The JAO with the dark honey is much more complex than the JAO with the commercial honey. Both are too sweet for my tastes so I will be looking for a dryer recipe next time. I like the dryness of the pyment. All should get better with age and I plan on agin a couple of months before drinking them. I also tried 4 different corks - 2 synthetic ones and 2 cork ones. Will decide on which ones to use after removing them.

The meads were all very clear. By the time I took the picture the glasses and frosted over a bit from condensation.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mead Progress

Here is one of my batches of mead that has cleared BEAUTIFULLY after one month of fermenting. The first mead with the darker honey hasn't cleared yet, but it is starting to.

As soon as the fruit falls, I will be racking it to bottles to finish aging.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Latest Mead - a Pyment

This is a batch of "Pyment" - mead made from the juice of grapes. I used a juice blend of black cherry and concord grapes, pounds of Clover honey and a Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast. The bottom picture shows my 3 batches I have going, percolating in my cupboard. Now I just have to find some patience because it will be 3-5 months before these are ready!

Mead Batches @ 10 Days

Here are my 2 batches, 10 days apart. The current pic is the lower one and you can see that both batches have already lightened some and there is some sediment forming at the bottom of both jugs, which is the yeast that has expired.

Second Batch of Mead

This is my second batch of orange spice mead. I used commercial honey to see what the difference in taste will be between it and my own backyard honey.

The color is much lighter that my first batch, but then I did use my darker Fall honey LOL.

Here is a comparison between the 2 batches: