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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snail's pace

Yesterday was pretty  depressing. My truck has been acting up and I needed to fix some things. A quick look under the hood confirmed my fears. Antifreeze spitting out from where the thermometer connects to the engine. Not good. Red specks of a torn gasket told me all I needed to know. I've replaced thermometers on other cars before, this shouldn't be that different. Indeed it wasn't. Okay, I had to walk to the local auto shop because I didn't have the right socket wrench or extender, but that's fine. Scraped the old gasket off with a razor and spatula, followed by brushing the (part that I don't recall the name of. Let's call it a flange bracket because that's what it resembles.) Let's see... nice shiny part with no bad greasy gunk on it, check. New gasket and new therm, check. New intake tube connecting radiator to engine, check. Bolts on really tight to make a good seal, check. Filled up with new antifreeze. That's where it went wrong. I didn't put the antifreeze in the reservoir. That fooled me for about 12 hours. Filled it up this evening and took her for a spin around the block. She's no longer red lining, but the damage has been done.
Post script: the water pump isn't working. That's next on my fix it list.

That was five hours of work and almost nothing to show for it. Somebody else could have done it faster, I know. My patience was worn out from that Saturday afternoon.
To keep myself from getting totally bummed out, I wanted to do another thing I've been putting off for a bit. I present to you the orange mead.
One orange crammed in there. Don't ask how I'm getting them out.
A friend gave me three pounds of wildflower honey. Good thing it doesn't go bad. It was crystallized, but that means I just let it boil for a bit more. One orange, cloves, a cinnamon stick and some raisins. Two months to clear up. Every person who's made this before says to let it age in the bottle a month or two. This batch will be ready come mid-June.
I know what you're going to say, "You should of peeled them first." No, I'm following the recipe. They specifically say not to lose the peels. Flies in the face of convention, I know. This is the area between culinary science and art form. Stay tuned for details. I then went and got some more honey to start the elderberry mead. If I want it in time for summer, I needed to do these things now. One of those times you can't procrastinate, but you need patience while making it.
It has been several hours since that last sentence. The orange mead is bubbling away furiously. Seriously, the mead thinks it is a soda. The elderberry mead is a strange shade of purple. Whereas the Prickly pear is a ruby red, I now have orange-yellow and purple-blue to add to the collection. 
I'm putting out the call now for more bottles. My wine rack is almost complete, but I'll need a place to put this eventually.


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