Thursday, November 27, 2014


November 27, 2014. Thanksgiving is upon us. As I sit outside tending the turkey on the grill, my wife is preparing the side dishes. When I went inside to refill my wine glass, she was busy roasting chestnuts. Last night we made the cheesy mashed potatoes. The cornbread stuffing she is putting together now is a meal unto itself with sweet sausage and tart cranberries.
Tradition is what defines us. During the holidays our family raises our glasses in a toast at one p.m. We salute our family and friends. Loved ones and the ones we lost in the past year. It is neither festive or somber, but somewhere in between. I would describe it as heartfelt and reassuring.
Because the cornbread stuffing requires only 1/4 cup of white wine and our toast only uses about half a bottle, there is a bit left over. Pity really, I had to finish off that before I opened the prickly pear mead I'd made during the summer.
In two weeks we are attending a wedding for family in Houston. I selected the best bottle of mead I made as a wedding gift. The wife kindly printed up a label personalized for the happy couple. While the turkey cooks in the smoker, I am contentedly sitting sipping the second of the three bottles of mead. Having never tasted the fruits of this brewing experiment would be tantamount to sacrilege. Offering a newly married couple swill or at worst, poison, is unthinkable. Quality control, you understand...

Several hours have passed since the last paragraph. Apparently I made it to the Thanksgiving dinner, stood up and proceeded to the bedroom where I passed out, drunk as a skunk. The wife says that was as drunk as I've been in over 25 years. I woke up incredibly thirsty, not for mead, but water. There is a little chunk of time missing from my memory. So my first mead making venture was a success-- for certain quantities of the word success. Good thing I'm a happy drunk. The bottle that we will be giving the newlyweds is very powerful, perhaps a warning label should be printed up. In any case, I think a business got started. The author who makes some really powerful mead. Wow.

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