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Sunday, November 1, 2015

And we're off

Last night we went to a friend's house for a Halloween party. A few trick or treaters came by, but mostly it was a teenager costume party and the adults hanging around the kitchen. We got to socialize and gossip. All things considered, it was a decent gathering and it was mainly for the kids.
My Iphone is having a hard time recharging. that means I can't upload pictures of the party to this computer. I'm going to have to drop by the Sprint store later to see if they can fix it. Allegedly I'm good with words so I'll describe what went down last night.
Our hosts greeted us dressed as Wonder Woman and the Lone Ranger. That was cute and knowing our friends as we do, the choice of costumes were appropriate. Inside, the kids were dressed as ninjas, pirates, vampires and there was a Superman/Lois Lane duo. There was also a girl dressed in a leopard spotted dress, but I couldn't figure out if she was a cave girl or jungle girl. Flintstones or Sheena of the jungle? Didn't ask/ wasn't important. Oh yeah, and the young girl in a Spiderman dress. I called her Spider Gwen and she laughed, but I'm not sure she got the reference. My oldest saw a You Tube video of a model using fake nails as teeth, liquid latex and makeup to give herself a toothy maw that spread almost to her ears. It looked cool and a few people flinched with a gross out factor of 'Eww!' I think that was her intent and my eldest child succeeded in that respect. Reminded me of a lamprey... Just a little bit. 
"Dad, do you want horns?" my child asked while waving a small package of devil horns. It only took me a second to consider.
"Why not?" I said.
 A quick dab of makeup and I was ready to start quoting lines from Damn Yankees. I put a picture up on Facebook along with the obligatory Rolling Stones quote. A few of my friends responded with other lines from the same song. Ha! I'm getting old, but it's so much fun.
Middle child spent the previous night over at a friends house. She came home, turned off the lights and crashed on the couch. She didn't even open an eye when we came home and crashed about the house. Poor kid was totally conked out.
The wife donned her medieval dress for the occasion. I would of helped her put on the corset if she asked, but I couldn't decide if she thought it was worth the trouble or not. It was one of those no-win questions, so I stayed silent.

The majority of the day was spent getting the mead racked to new containers. Again, no pictures. Figured out what was wrong with the blueberry and it is now bubbling happily in the corner. The blueberry/pear combo is sort of bubbling along slowly and I'm content to just let it go until things stop or the fruit drops to the bottom of the jar. The batch of pear got transferred a week ago. Now we wait for it to clear up. That can take anywhere between two and six months. The big job was the pumpkin spice mead. From the outside it looks nearly the same color as the pear sitting next to it. Good thing I take notes on which is which. It's the recurring theme in my life: hurry up and wait. A lot of work scrubbing and washing. The wife was a big help filtering as I siphoned. The next investment we need to purchase is a pump/filter combo. It took several hours and I couldn't of done it without her. It was one of those 'Work harder or work smarter' things. Until that piece of equipment comes around we're doing it the hard way: by hand.
Another big chunk of time consumed goes to research. As I type this I'm looking at a recipe I printed up for a winter mead that caught my eye. It's not too complicated and I see where I can make a few changes to bump it up to a big batch. Apples, cranberries, cloves and cinnamon. Right now there are three flavors in the queue for me to make. We need more traditional... We need to make a lot more Serrano... Don't forget the orange! 
"Oh, make some more of that." is what I hear most often. I like and appreciate those comments, I really do, but I've been putting most of my energy into making this a legit business, not just a hobby.
Several of the recipes call for the honey to be boiled. I have no problem with that. Other methods don't involve heating the honey up, but there is an extra step later on down the line when refining the mead comes into play. There is no one set path to making this drink. Most of my stock of meads have their honey boiled in the prep stages, but that's just my preference. I suppose my next batch wouldn't have to be boiled or skimmed. It wouldn't effect the taste and ultimately that's what I'm after: taste.
   

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