Bad Mead

Remember the Digby Mead that I started about eight months ago? I hadn’t talked about it since late last year because all I could do was let it age.  The key problem, as noted then, is that I’d failed to properly adjust the amount of water that the mead required; there was too much and…

Tasting the Ellis Cordial

Today was the day to test the Ellis cordial.  The details are here, but I figured that I’d post the results. In short, it was better than I’d anticipated.  The brandy has a berry color and because of the added sugar, has a very sweet berry taste.  What surprised me the most is that, for a…

Yuck . . . Taste This!

Ah, winter.  For most of the last week, we’ve been sans snow.  Now, it seems like that’s all we’re getting.  I have a theory about snow: Before December 25, snow is loved, welcomed, and enjoyed.  Starting December 26, however, it becomes annoying, troubling, and a pain. On to the important stuff . . . The…

December 26th

Another Christmas is in the history books. Since I do all of the cooking, the Christmas meal was tailored towards my tastes, which are generally traditional.  There was the spiral cut ham, for example, along with mashed potatoes, whole kernel corn, and a small green bean casserole.  I happened to have a couple of sweet potatoes,…

A Cordially Made Cordial

Previously, I mentioned creating some dish from the recipes mentioned in Sandra Sherman’s Fresh From the Past: Recipes and Revelations from Moll Flanders’ Kitchen (Taylor Trade, 2004).  Well, I’ve settled on where I want to begin. Sherman reprints a recipe from William Ellis’ Country Housewife’s Family Companion (1750), called “Rich Family Cordial with Black-Cherries, Mulberries, and…

Eau de Mead

For reasons that escape me, the Little Woman and I decided to test the Digby Mead last night.  It was about time, of course, seeing how it’s been sealed up in the basement for these last few weeks.  It also gave us an opportunity (or excuse, your choice) to taste-test our mixed berry mead, which…

More on Digby

A quick update on the Digby mead: In the two weeks since it was put into the carboy, the mead has been doing its thing.  Because I had more than a gallon, I constructed a makeshift carboy for the overflow.  I took a 1 liter plastic bottle and cut a hole in the cap.  Then, after fitting…

So What Happened, Again?

In reading my last post, I realized that there exists within it an informational gap.  This is what happens when you forget that you didn’t actually post the message(s) you thought you did.  To wit: I went from planning the Digby mead to putting it into a carboy and storing it, without explaining anything about…

A New Mead, Part Three

Despite my earlier concerns, the Digby mead is progressing just fine. Originally, I feared that the small amount of honey – one quart – was not enough to turn this into a bona-fide mead.  I was also concerned that the yeast and nutrients – not specified in the original recipe – might prove problematic.  Where…

A New Mead, Part Deux

I’ve been giving Sir Kenelm Digby’s mead recipe some serious consideration.  It doesn’t strike me as necessarily hard to make, but it does seem to involve a good amount of time – I’m thinking a good five to six hours outright, and who-knows-how-long beyond that.  In other words, I do see a bit of a…

A New Mead?

Yes . . . I’m still alive. 😀 Things have been so busy this year – more so than usual.  It’s getting harder to find time to sit and write, but I’m going to try to block out an hour or so at least once a week – hopefully.  Anyway . . . About 18…

Brewing a Pint, pt.2

About two months ago, I detailed my rather ambitious plan to recreate an authentic early 19th century porter style beer.  This was going to use an actual period recipe, with reasonably legitimate ingredients to brew something that would be as authentic to 1825 as I could get.  This is Jane Austen era beer, and given…