July 24, 2011

making wine

2011.07_wine making (1) kit
Here at d.i. WINE and dine, we finally got around to buying and brewing wine from a kit. Years ago we made a pretty basic tasting wine from grocery store grape juice. This time we sprung for a wine kit from the local homebrew store. The kit cost $95 and should produce about 30 bottles of wine. That means that each bottle will have cost us about $3. Not a bad deal at all.  And as you'll see below, it was super easy to do - easier than mead or beer making.

First step (optional but highly recommended) invite your friends over! 
(that's our friend Peter)
2011.07_wine making (2) bentonite
Then sterilize your brewing equipment,
add warm water to your brewing bucket, 
and add packet of bentonite.

2011.07_wine making (3) bentonite
(bentonite!? weird)

2011.07_wine making (4) juice
Pour the grape juice into the bucket.

2011.07_wine making (5) juice
And try not to spill.

2011.07_wine making (6) cleaning crew
Otherwise your dog will try to help you clean up.

2011.07_wine making (7) oak
Add a bag of oak chips.

2011.07_wine making (8) grape skins
Add a bag of grape skins.

Then measure the specific gravity. Pitch the yeast. Put the cover and airlock on the brewing bucket. Wait a week for further instructions.

free flowers!

A fellow community gardener had a ton of these flowers so she gave some to us!

July 21, 2011

massaged kale salad

2011.07_massaged kale salad
You're looking at a massaged kale salad.  Nothing too crazy going on here, but it is tasty and timely nonetheless (especially when eaten on a back stoop).

July 16, 2011

accidental worm tea

We had been meaning to make worm tea to apply to our garden. Well, we got some accidentally. We must have been making the smoothies we feed to our worms with more water than usual, because the tray that catches extra water had a lot of brown liquid in it, when usually it is dry. I guess that's a nice feature of our wooden worm bin--it self-regulates if it gets too wet.

I wonder about worm tea vs. directly applying worm castings. Castings are easier, and probably slower-reacting, but can introduce seeds.

strawberry-rhubarb compote

2011.07_strawberry harvest

Here's all of the strawberries we harvested recently. I picked anything that was red--all pretty small and most super/sickly sweet. Since it wasn't worth making jam with such a small amount, I made a strawberry-rhubarb compote (just added a little bit a sugar). I like it because it isn't too sweet and you don't need pectin. We enjoyed it on some vegan pound cake from the freezer that we made a while back.

strawberry-rhubarb preserves on vegan pound cake

a recent garden harvest

Just a snapshot of a recent harvest from our community garden plot: chard, arugula, peas, purslane, and strawberries.

July 15, 2011

rhubarb white chocolate cookies

2011.07_rhubarb white chocolate cookies 2
Our community garden neighbor offered us fresh rhubarb from her garden plot.  Of course we said yes.  Then, for whatever reason, I was driven to make rhubarb white chocolate cookies.  They turned out sweet, buttery, and subtly tart - a welcome break from piles of veggies.

July 11, 2011

huevos motuleños

2011.07_huevos motuleños
Inspired by a recent meal at Blue Sky Cafe, Eric planned on making me huevos motuleños for breakfast on Sunday, but we slept right though breakfast and were out and about for lunch. In the end, we ate breakfast for dinner and proclaimed it a date night!

As you can see, Eric's version of the dish has blue corn bread and beans topped with a poached egg, avacado, feta, cilantro and a side of fried banana and scalloped home fries.

July 9, 2011

aloo mattar

2011.07_aloo mattar
We are swimming in peas from our garden so we made this classic Indian dish of potatoes and peas.

July 7, 2011

bike touring

For the 4th of July weekend Eric, myself, and 6 friends loaded up our bikes with camping gear and rode from Twin Lakes to Maroon Bells. Our route took us right over Independence Pass on Independence Day weekend! The ride was about 55 miles one-way with a climb of 4500 verticle feet!! I still am amazed with myself for accomplishing this.

2011.07_bike touring independence pass_map

2011.07_bike touring independence pass_en route

2011.07_bike touring independence pass_top