Monday, December 22, 2008

Knob Hats and Extreme Weather and Chocolate

My son loved his little felted gear shift skull knob cover. I would have wrapped it up for Christmas, but he asked for one last Winter, so it's more a Last Year's Late Gift than a current one. At any rate, it's getting a workout, given that the thermometer read -18 (F) this morning, without the wind. It is supposed to be above zero by supper time tonight, which will feel positively tropical, though we're also supposed to get 6" of new snow. Sigh.

Back in '05, when we were in our winemaking heyday, I had something of a Mead Obsession, fermenting assorted 1-gallon batches of meads using local honey, and then making larger batches of the ones we really loved (like Blackberry). One of the gallon experiments was a chocolate mead, made, I kid you not, by fermenting unsweetened cocoa powder with honey. I chiefly remember how much that sucker foamed, overflowing my small fermentation bucket. I had to transfer the gallon batch to the 5-gallon bucket just to keep it contained. I also remember how difficult it was to name the wine- Meads are honey based wines (using honey rather than sugar for the yeast food). Pyments are grape/honey wines. Melomels are fruit/honey wines. Metheglins are spice/honey wines. Cocoa Powder isn't a spice, and it's not a fruit, and it certainly isn't grapes. But a chocolate mead isn't plain mead either. I finally went with Chocolate Kiss as the name. Unfortunately, Chocolate Kiss was no more than okay when we bottled it, so I crossed it off my list, put the bottles away and forgot about them.

I remembered them last night and had a glass. Omigod! The chocolate scent. The slight citrus undertone. The wonderful choc aftertaste. The beautiful dark amber color. We sweetened it a lot, so it's a dessert drink, and we won't ever want more than a glass at a time, so that gallon will last a bit, if we're careful. But now chocolate mead is on the ever lengthening list of wines I have to make so that 3 years from now, we don't have to ration them.
(btw- that's a little bottle, not a giant wine glass. And I did the Hardanger Embroidery sitting under the Pewter Santa- the design ended up in a magazine, but I don't remember which one).


Stacy Kraus McDonald said...

OMG.... it's cold. I was lamenting the zero wind chill here but you win. My plan is to stay inside as much as possible today. And, by Christmas it is supposed to be 50 degrees - what on earth?

I'm glad your son liked his better late than never gift... it came out great in the pics you posted.

Allison said...

Have you ever thought of selling your wines? I would buy them!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Allison- we're not allowed to sell our homemade wines. You need all sorts of licences and inspections and fees and forms for that. We just make it for our own pleasure. But thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen .... love your hardanger doiley. I am envious because I have not mastered the edging you have on your's. I did one like that in dark blue with white threads, but one of the clipped edges is coming apart. I could fix it, I know, and probably will sometime. Any hints on what I may have done wrong?
And the wine doesn't look too bad, either!! mmmmmmmmm

Kathleen Taylor said...

Bedstemor- check today's post (Dec 23)for a pic of the back side of that piece of Hardanger Embroidery.