Scarlet wilding apples from an apple core discarded 30 or more years before . . .
Well, much as I wanted to, I didn't go to my spinning/weaving group as I was so behind here so I had a catch-up day, and as I have pretty well ticked everything on the immediate list, so I am very pleased with myself. The day began with a walk up the valley - about 1 1/2 miles in all - I'd have gone further but I had a long mental list of jobs for the day.
I started by making crab apple jelly from the 9 lbs or so I had left of the fruit I picked in the New Forest when we were there recently. I had cut the fruit up and cooked it a couple of days ago and let it drip through the jelly bag overnight. Then it had sat on the stove in a pan with a lid on, reminding me it needed doing. I got about 4 1/2 lbs yield, which doesn't seem much from such a lot of fruit and sugar, but crab apples aren't juicy, although they make divine jelly. Whilst I was washing and sterilizing the bottles for the jam, I took another box of bottles I'd been given and soaked the labels off and they are dried and stored away for the next session.
Then, as I drank a mid-morning cup of tea, I peeled and salted the 2nd half of the pickling onions and have them waiting overnight before I wash them off tomorrow and bottle them using the spiced vinegar I made this afternoon. I think I will probably buy some more onions and bottle them up, so I have a full year's supply (I'm the only one who eats them).
Next it was the wine which needed sorting out. I searched for demi-johns first, but then realized I had recycled half a dozen last summer when we were having a clear out and I thought I would be cutting right back on wine-making as I haven't done much in recent years. Wrong move! However, during my search I found a brand new but dusty 5 gallon plastic fermentation bin (you just fit an airlock) so took that indoors to be thoroughly washed and sterilized. Into that was carefully racked and decanted 3 gallons of gooseberry wine, which is still working but sat on lees which is not a good thing.
Then of course I had to thoroughly clean and sterilize the three demijohns, as I had two further demijohns of Damson wine to rack. So I did that, and washed the other two d-j's. Then it was the turn of the crab apple wine in the wine bucket, which had to have the fruit removed and then be poured through a straining bag to remove all the pips and bits. That is now mixed with sugar and yeast and will be soon be bubbling away. I feel like an alchemist when I make wine! All that took me 2 hours, which was a lot longer than I anticipated.
I made a batch of spiced vinegar for the picked onions, and as it cooled, I put tonight's chicken in the oven to start roasting, and went outside to put the 11 white Geraniums I'd had in a border to overwinter inside (down in mum's). The needed to come in before the first frost.
Then I peeled spuds for the roast, and prepared the vegetables and Yorkshire pudding mix, peeled and cooked up 8 apples for a crumble, made the crumble mix, and cooked it.
So that's crab apple jelly done; pickled onions done; wine done; several lots of washing up done; roast dinner and apple crumble done; Geraniums potted done. I think I have earned a beer tonight!