We opened the first bottle of dandelion for Christmas lunch! I was quite pleased with it. It was dry with a slightly, pleasantly musky back-note. It didn’t go particularly well with the risotto I made, but it was definitely worth drinking. We had quite a nice feast, too. Mom made appetizers of mushroom strudel, shrimp cocktail, and chips and guacamole (Gerry isn’t eating dairy). To go with the risotto, I did roasted green beans and Mom did herbed roasted carrots. Dessert was Jolyon’s amazing trifle:
Strawberry vegetarian gelatin, strawberry jam, ladyfingers, sponge cake (Japanese kasutera this year, because it’s what I could find), apple, grapes, banana, chopped nuts, homemade custard, and lots of sherry. Excellent stuff! Gerry was tempted to have a sample (he also tried a sip of the wine) and Mom had some, but we still have a lot left, which is delightful. Zach and Meghan are coming over for dinner tonight, so he’ll probably have some, but she’s vegan so I got vegan ice cream for her. (Dinner plan: Field Roast, smashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, bread, aforementioned desserts.)
However, Mom’s poor old Ginger had built up a lot of fluid in her stomach, which is apparently common with congestive heart problems, so after lunch, I helped take her to the emergency vet. Ginger did not want to be there but felt a lot better afterwards. They took 4 liters of fluid from her! It started snowing while we waited (and waited and waited) at the vet, so getting home was a bit of a trial, on top of spending over 2 hours there. When we got back, though, Jolyon and I finished the dandelion wine, and watched “The Snowman” and had a bath, so it all ended well.
Because of all the veterinary excitement, though, I didn’t get my Christmas tutti-fruti wine started until today. So technically it’s Boxing Day tutti-fruti wine, which doesn’t flow quite as nicely:
. It’s 18 oz. red currant, 7 oz. crab apple, 6 oz. peach, 13 oz. raspberry, and, owing to a moment of Japanesey superstition about the number 4 (very bad luck), 4 oz. of blueberries, for a total of 5 fruits. (5 is very good luck.) Everything but the blueberries was stuff I’d set aside just for this wine. I also still have a couple pounds of apple and more red currant, so I’ll probably do a wine with those two at some point. I added about 2.5 lbs. of sugar and 7 pints of water, to get an original gravity of 1.10, plus the Campden, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. I haven’t decided on the yeast yet, but I’m thinking maybe Champagne.
We got a good few inches of snow, so today will be a nice lazy one of enjoying our presents (got this in Chicago, but Jolyon got it framed for me for Christmas), cooking, and eating. A swell Boxing Day!