The folks that came to visit us in December were fermentation-friendly. They were willing to try anything I had made. Seemed like a good time to break out the things that were hiding in the corners.
wild blackberry wine
Last summer my brother and I picked about 2 quarts of wild blackberries on the side of the road. I ran them through the blender to make a juicy mush, about 1 quart. Added 3 quarts of water. I probably dumped in a cup of some other ferment that was already going in the kitchen, but I don't remember. Let it ferment in a jar for a week or two, then moved to a narrow-mouthed jug with an airlock. Put that in the back of a closet until last week.
It was good, but not great. Biggest problem is that there was too much water. I probably should not have added any, and just gone with the juice.
Water & honey, in a 4:1 ratio. Stir often until fermentation gets active. Once it settles down, bottle. Let it sit in the back of closet.
Excellent. Each bottle is a little different. Some are dry, some are sweet. All are very fizzy, with tiny champaign-like bubbles. Everyone loves it.
I've decided to make lots more of this, and make it more often. I have a quart of it sitting on the counter now, which I stir often, trying to get a good culture. It doesn't seem to be going well, so I think I'll need to start over. Once I have a good bubbly mix, I'll be making a bunch.
I'm thinking of a two-week cycle. Every other weekend I bottle what I have, saving a little to start another batch.
I may need more bottles.
Before my thanksgiving trip I started some kraut. I had 3 heads of cabbage sitting in the fridge that I couldn't find time to make. With the trip coming, I decided to take shortcuts. I cut the heads in to big peices, no where near the shredding that is common with commercial sauerkraut. Salt, in to crocks, add some water to cover. As an experiement, I kept the heads intact and put them on the bottom. It's like a prize. :-)
They turned out really well; the kraut is very crisp. Plenty of people are enjoying it. I look forward to having a generous cellar one day, where I can keep gallons of kraut around all winter.