Now for those of you who know Philippa, you may be mistaken by the title of this entry. This isn’t about a rather heavy night up the Cross Inn, but is related to Phil’s side business of preserving our produce and making a variety of pickles and chutneys which she hopes to sell to our guests (if I don’t scoff them first!).
She is also on a mission to bake our own bread, it’s one of the main staples that we still buy, so last weekend, following our trusty ‘River Cottage’ bread book, Phil kneaded, prodded and proved and came up with 2 small loves and 4 rolls. The first effort was pretty tasty but a little heavy, but we’ve deduced that we didn’t let the dough prove long enough, and we whipped it out of the oven a little too soon (as we were desperate to fill our faces).
I decided to get in on the act, but was less adventurous. Pickled onions were my limit on the preserving front, but I started trying to tackle our largest domestic expenditure, namely Baccus’s favourite tipple.
It does seem that having a huge wood burning boiler does provide ample heat for the initial fermentation process, but during the night of day 2, it was obviously slightly too warm (it needs to be between 20 and 25 deg C), as in the morning we were greeted with a red wine splattered Bertha and the air lock full of wine. Hopefully it won’t be spoiled, but there’s no way of knowing until we try it (3 months time!!).
If this does work we will need to up our production as one Demijon only gives us 6 bottles.