Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rose Hip Wine - Day 3

"Ferm, baby, ferm! Vino inferno! Ferm, baby, ferm - makin' al-kee-hall..."

I know it looks a little scary, but we're just 2 days away from straining out all of the chunkage and moving this yumminess into a jug to continue fermenting. This is my first non-fruit wine, so I am both excited and nervous to taste this. Provided that the first sip doesn't kill me, I'll keep you posted on it's progress.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aunt Ethel's Cobbler

Having recently stumbled upon a massive cache of frozen blueberries, I've been mulling over how to best use them - ice cream? sorbet? maybe pie? Then I came across the Huckle Buckle recipe contest over at Fat of the Land and knew immediately what I wanted to do with all of those lovely berries - make up a batch of Aunt Ethel's cobbler.

Aunt Ethel was the baker in my Grandmother's generation. She made this incredible cobbler for every family reunion and I remember passing up the home made ice cream for seconds on cobbler. Oh the calorie-careless days of youth...

Anyway, this is my version of Aunt Ethel's recipe. You can use just about any fruit that you want with this cobbler batter, but I most often use berries (blueberries, huckleberries or blackberries, typically) or, once in a while, peaches. My absolute favorite thing about this recipe - besides the taste! - is that it is SO quick and simple to make. I have mentioned my ineptitude at baking many times, but my success with this cobbler proves that foolproof recipes do exist, and if you're really lucky, you also have a really cool Great Aunt to give them to you. ;) Without further ado, Aunt Ethel's Cobbler-

1/2 Stick Butter
1 1/2 c. Sugar
2 c. flour
1 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder

1 1/2 c. blueberries (or just about any fruit)
1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 11x7 (or similar size) casserole dish in the oven. Remove and let butter cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, salt & baking powder well.

In a separate bowl, measure out your berries or other fruits and sprinkle them with the tablespoon of sugar. Toss well.

Finally, add milk to the flour mixture and mix well until a thick batter forms. Pour the batter into the buttery casserole dish. Some butter will come up over the batter, that is ok. Lastly, sprinkle/drop the sugared berries into the batter - do not stir. Bake @ 350 degrees for about 1 hour, checking every so often to ensure that the top doesn't get too brown before the middle has had a chance to set-up. If you see this happening, you can put a piece of foil over the top to slow things down a bit. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This tastes AMAZING with vanilla ice cream, but is pretty fantastic all by itself.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hippy Wine

After much dawdling, I finally got around to starting my first gallon of rose hip wine today. I've actually had these rose hips in the freezer for a while, being that I was 4 ounces shy of the amount required for the recipe that I wanted to use. Not able to ever lay my hands on more, I decided to make up the 4 ounce difference with the rose hip's botanical cousin, an apple.

I sliced, crushed, sugared and added water to these lovely hips (and half a yellow delicious apple) and set them to steep in the primary fermenter for 24 hours. Tomorrow I'll pitch the yeast and in a few days we'll see what we see. If this batch works out, I'll post the recipe here along with my fudges and observations.

On a related note, the hubby is starting another batch of beer today as well - a Czech/German Pilsner, he tells me, as if I'd have any idea at all what that meant. I figure that between our parallel booze brewing efforts, we will have a few lovely intoxicants to imbibe in the months and years to come.