Monday, September 3, 2012

The Husbands Make Wine

The elderberries are tied in the cheese cloth
No, I don't have more than one husband. We are blessed enough to have a 'couple friend' - a couple that we both love both of them, if that makes sense. Marcus and Adrienne are huge blessings (and sometimes voices of reason!) in our lives, as well as their sweet son, Burkley. We agree on a lot of different things, from our shared faith in God to the way we raise our families. It's wonderful to have someone like minded to talk to and bounce ideas off of. Our children adore each other, too, which makes things easier! We spend a lot of time together in different ways - the wives and babies will take field trips to the zoo, museum, pool, park or just hang out at one of our homes; every now and again, the wives get to go out for coffee or to the fabric store; the husbands go to shows, out for coffee or beer, ride bikes and (new to the rotation) make wine; and, of course, we get our families together for dinner, park outings, and ice cream.  We've talked about getting out of the house without kids, but it's just a theory at this point. Really with Lydia's arrival and Baby C's pending arrival in March/April, that may not happen for quite some time!

Anyway, more to the point of this post: the husbands make wine. I'm not sure how it started, but it did. Unfortunately, it started with butchering my lilac bushes. Inexplicably, this took place at night, with flash lights. I'm not sure what my neighbors thought. So, obviously, the first batch was lilac wine. That's been racked into wine bottles (recycled!) and will be ready in about four months. The current wine project is elderberry. They're trying to do their projects as cheaply as possible and with what they can find. The lilacs were free and now so are the elderberries. Marcus works with a guy who has quite a few elderberry bushes on his property that he doesn't utilize. He welcomed Marcus to make use of them. So he, Adrienne and Burkley went to his farm one morning and made the harvest. The berries made their way to our house (where the wine making occurs) and we all spent some time picking each tiny berry from the stems, careful to not get any green, poisonous ones. Our eldest daughter even helped! And the husbands got to their task of sanitizing their equipment and adding the proper ingredients to their concoction: elderberries, sugar, enzymes, yeast, and whatnot. For this specific wine, it had to be stirred everyday for two weeks. Every time Jared opened it, the aroma filled the house - thankfully it smelled great! It's now sitting in the basement, fermenting away!

I realized I hadn't gotten any pictures of this process! Luckily, they had to rack the wine this last weekend and I got some fun action shots of the process and the testing. Enjoy!

Sanitizing the carboy
Fitting the airlock

Jared: a little taste
Marcus: a little sniff

Letting the berries drip the rest of the goodness!
Sorry it's a little blurry!

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