Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Babble Post

The Bag Lady is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to post about. There is a lot going on in her life, but none of it very blog-worthy. She's got half a dozen projects on the go, as usual, but none of them are at a stage where she can blog about them (unless, of course, y'all want to see pictures of furniture with the paint half scraped off, or scraps of fabric that will eventually become something functional....)

She has a Pileated Woodpecker hanging around her place, and has been trying in vain to photograph him to show you, but she doesn't have the right kind of camera skills. She watched him the other day for quite awhile, and was quite amused at his antics. He was probably just doing what he needed to do to get at the bugs in the dead tree stump that he was attacking, but it looked really comical to watch him pecking away, then stick his head inside the hole and turn it right around, searching for bugs. She did film some of it, but had the camera on the wrong setting, and there was a lot of foliage in the way. When she did finally get the camera set properly, he almost immediately jumped down onto the ground out of sight. Silly bird.

The Bag Lady did spend a portion of her day yesterday picking dandelions, then preparing them for the transition from annoying weed to wine. She took some pictures (which are still trapped in her camera) and will probably take a few more of the next step, which takes place in a couple of days. It's a long process - you soak the flowers for a couple of days, then boil them with sugar and a few other ingredients, strain them; add the yeast (or add the yeast and then strain them - guess she needs to look at the recipe again!) and let the strained liquid sit.... it takes about 6 months after you bottle it for it to be anywhere close to ready - they recommend that you let it sit in the bottles for a year. We'll be damned thirsty by then, eh? (Had to throw a little Canadianism in there)

Now she needs to get rid of the rest of the gazillion or so dandelions left in her yard. Or, at the very least, decapitate them with the lawn mower! And, one of these days really soon, she needs to go to a nursery and find some bedding plants - tomatoes, peppers and a few flowers for the pots on her deck.

So much to do, so little... ambition ....err.... time.


Rupal said...

Dandelion wine!? I didn't know that was possible! COOOOL! I hear those weeds have got some healin' qualities too (not sure about in wine, but what the heck!)

Reb said...

Good for you trying something new! I haven't gotten around to getting plants yet either - might not be worth it if I don't go soon though ;)

MizFit said...

I cant wait for the wine.


Guest star? the Rancher??

Missicat said...

Dandelion wine?? Thought that was only something you read about in books! How does it taste? I want to hear moooorrreeee...

Anonymous said...

I'd say that is plenty of blog worthy stuff! Dandelion Wine... yum!

You know you could always join the Weekly Words Challenge. We don't bite! This week is "Yellow" and "In My Purse/Wallet" -- how hard can that be?
As for those pictures you didn't take? Go ahead and take 'em! I'd be happy to see them. :)

Scrumpy said...

I must know what else you have made into wine.

(And do you know how to make vodka?)

JavaChick said...

My Dad makes wine and he has used as many different types of fruit as he can get his hands on (he grows grapes - I'd love to have some at my place because I think the vines are beautiful) but I don't believe he has ever made dandelion wine.

solarity said...

Of course we want pictures of half-scraped furniture! As well as before and after. You're supposed to inspire us! (Think of my basement. I need LOTS of inspiration.)
As for the dandelion wine, I'll let the rest of you do the tasting, since I can never tell in advance whether wine will affect my allergies or not.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Sounds exciting. I'm glad you have the patience for this. I sure done.
I bet it'll taste just like bottled spring.

the Bag Lady said...

Rupal - the Rancher's mother made some many, many years ago (I haven't ever tasted any, but hubby says it was good).

Reb - you know me, I'll try lots of things. I still haven't got my bedding plants yet - maybe today.

Miz - it takes 6 months to a year before you can drink it, so it will be a long wait! (And are you sure you want to see the Rancher doing the dandelion wine crawl?)

Missicat - I've never tasted it, but hubby says it's pretty good.
We'll have to wait and see.

kcinova - I have thought of joining, but I'm not as good a photographer as the rest of you, so I'll just enjoy the photos that y'all post!

Scrumpy - I failed miserably at making crabapple wine. I have made fake Kahlua successfully, though. And vodka - don't you make that with potatoes? Hmmmm...... :)

JavaChick - I have one surviving grape vine, but have never gotten enough grapes off it to even have a taste of a fresh grape, let alone make wine! :)

Mary Anne in Kentucky - I was hoping to have it finished before I posted about it - you know, the before and after pictures all in the same post? But have run into some difficulty with doing a proper job.... sigh.

dfLeah - I, too, hope it turns out well, and tastes like bottled spring, rather than bottled dandelions. :)

Charlotte said...

Okay, I always thought dandelion wine was just Ray Bradbury title! Can't wait to see your pics and how you make it. I saw dandelion greens in the store the other day - for 20$ a pound!!!

Hilary said...

If you get really good at this, you might have to change your blog title to "The Moonshiner's Mutterings"

the Bag Lady said...

Charlotte - you're joking, right? They actually SELL dandelion greens? For twenty bucks a pound??? CRAP! I've got a gold mine on my lawn!!!

Hilary - Moonshiners Mutterings has a nice ring to it. Might have to set up a 'still' in the bushes out back! :)

Sagan said...

Hurray I'm so excited that you're making the wine! In a few years there should be a big blogger party to drink it. Hehe.

Watching birds is so peaceful.

Geosomin said...

I agree - please post pics of the wine process! I've always wanted to make it, and I'm curious how.
I've been told dalads from dandelion greens are the "big thing" right now - A detoxifying salad or something like that. I know I could detoxify a whole neighborhood from the crop in our back yard!
Lately I've been putting random fruit in vodka and tucking it away for a few months to try it later.
Saskatoons and raspberries so far...yum. Perhaps we can swap? :)

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - sounds like a great swap idea to me! Raspberry vodka is my Absolut (get it?) all time favourite!

Marste said...

Hey, I've heard of dandelion wine, but never looked into it beyond that! I want to know how it comes out next year! :)

Redbush said...

A year is a loooong time to wait for that wine! We have so many that we could supply the whole community with them (dandelions, that is). Our dilemma is that we would rather just try to mow them off, but, the neighborhood sprays, and when we decide not to, the neighbor brings his sprayer over and offers it to us. I hate spraying because of the birds, but the neighbor that offers the sprayer to us also waters the plants for us when we go camping! You're so lucky to have a pileated woodpecker! I've never seen them, but hubby has when he was out hunting. They apparently like the pine beetles so maybe its a good sign that they're not here!

Levi said...

Have you ever put chemicals on that lawn!?
Or has Monsanto driven by and dumped some GMO seed?

Aleta said...

"preparing them for the transition from annoying weed to wine" Well, that's news to me. I never thought of dandelions as a drink. How cool! I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Emily said...

What a great way to use up pesky weeds. Um, can you send some down here for me to try LOL?!?!

the Bag Lady said...

Oops - sorry Sagan, I don't know how I missed your comment! We should have a wonderful blogger party next summer out here on the ranch!

Marste - you'll have to come to the blogger party and try some for yourself!

Redbush - they say that anything good is worth waiting for.... we'll see.

POD - the only thing that has ever happened to this lawn was hubby fertilized it about 20 years ago.... nothing since.

Aleta - hopefully, the wine will turn out well.... we'll see.

Emily - start saving your pennies so you can come up and try some for yourself next summer! :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool you're actually going to make some into wine. Is this how Grasshopper Ale began? I might have to read the label more closely...

My mother in law made crabapple wine from the fruit in her yard and it was about 70 proof. She kept adding sugar, not realizing it changes into alcohol, not sweetening. Palatable with Sprite. (Isn't that the way all the wine lovers enjoy it? )

Lil' Nana

Penny said...

I reckon you can make wine out of more or less anything!! Maybe this could be your new business... making wine out of increasingly odd things? There's a character in our show who does exactly that, and it's always a potent brew.... I think we've had her making parsnip wine and maybe even bramble wine before now!

TA x

the Bag Lady said...

Lil' Nana - my only other attempt at wine was with crabapples - what a disaster! No matter how many times I racked it, it would not clear. Hopefully this time will work!
Thanks for stopping by!

TA - There's an idea! Become an oddball..... oh, wait..... :)

Clare2e said...

I've never known someone who actually made dandelion wine. more reports, please. Your n-process projects make me feel better about my own!

the Bag Lady said...

Clare - I'll be sure to post updates as the process continues! I've never made it before, either, so it's a learning process for me, too. We're all in this together, right? :)