Sunday, 25 July 2010
So much for the plan. The Rusty Old Wreck has been deposed from its ramp by a piece of broken agricultural machinery that can't be moved. Who knew that a Kawasaki half-shaft would cost four hundred quid! So my Sunday fettling has had to be put off and my chances of going to Somerset in the Turbocharged Rollerskate and enduring the mirth of my peers just got a lot higher. Ah well, they'll be laughing on the other side of their faces on a hot August Saturday in their 1960s cars when they realise the Rollerskate has Aircon!
Never mind, a chance to do something else that's been demanding my attention. Bottle my cider. Suffer the usual bottle shortage, scour all my storage places and find just enough empty beer bottles. Some of them have labels welded not glued in place. People give me bottles for which I am very grateful, but some of my friends don't think to wash them before putting them on one side for me. Grrrr, a couple of hours are spent washing and sterilising. Then the fun bit. My cider is fermented in plastic jerrycans, I put a chair on my mother's kitchen table, place the jerrycan on top and syphon the cider into my clean bottles. I couldn't resist trying some, I think the '09 pressing's going to be a good one!
A further ten minutes with the crown capper and there I have it, a table covered in bottles of cider. This cider was pressed last October, fermented until early this year before being racked, then stood to settle and for secondary fermentation. I'll now put it in a dark place until this October when it'll be ready to drink. A lot of effort, you might think, but the final product lasts for years and really is worth it.
At this time of year the British countryside is almost indecently fertile. Everything seems laden with fruit or flowers, and most of it is edible directly from the plant. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea. On my mother's kitchen table, a selection of produce and flowers fresh from the garden. All I needed to do to assemble an impromptu still life was move it slightly to bring it all into the same frame.