Flash At the Sound of Lies

Blogger is once again a mattress pea to your pretty principessa. While I’m here muttering, “Gimme strength! And coffee! I’ll settle for coffee…” please note events, they are eventing.

The Independent:

The global price of wheat has risen by 130 per cent in the past year. Rice has rocketed by 74 per cent in the same period. It went up by more than 10 per cent in a single day last Friday – to an all-time high as African and Asian importers competed for the diminishing supply on international markets in an attempt to head off the mounting social unrest. The International Rice Research Institute warned yesterday that prices will keep going up.

The buffers stocks of staple foods that governments once held are being steadily exhausted.

This morning, the Today Show reported that the big club retailers are asking customers to limit purchases of rice. The financials lady I’d never seen before says in many countries people are going to die but in the US, hey, it’s all hype. I was plotting and scheming a crazy plotty scheme to hoard Quaker Instant Oatmeal when I saw the How To Of the Day – How to Make Dandelion Wine. Yippee! Let’s mow!

Ingredients
* 1 package (7 g) dried yeast
* 1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
* 2 quarts (230 g) whole dandelion flowers. Using 2 quarts (160 g loosely packed, 200 g tightly packed) of just the petals can make for a less bitter wine
* 4 quarts water (3.785 L)
* 1 cup (240 mL) orange juice
* 3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lime juice
* 8 whole cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon (1.25 g) powdered ginger
* 3 tablespoons (18 g) coarsely chopped orange peel; avoid any white pith
* 1 tablespoon (6 g) coarsely chopped lemon peel; avoid any white pith
* 6 cups (1200 g) sugar

Steps
1. Put the yeast in the bowl of warm water and set it aside for it to dissolve. (Option for prepared yeast)
2. Wash and clean the blossoms well. Think of it as a fruit or vegetable; you don’t want bugs nor dirt in your food. Remove all green material.
3. Soak flowers for two days.
4. Place the blossoms in the four quarts of water, along with the lime, orange, and lemon juices.
5. Stir in the ginger, cloves, orange peels, lemon peels, and sugar. Bring the mix to a boil for an hour.
6. Strain through filter papers (coffee filters are recommended). Let the wine cool down for a while. While the wine is still warm, stir in the yeast mix.
7. Leave it alone and let it stand overnight.
8. Pour it into bottles, leave them uncorked, and store them in a dark place for at least three weeks so that it can ferment.
9. Optional: Rack the wine several times. Racking means waiting until the wine clears, then pouring the liquid into another container, leaving the lees (sediment) at the bottom of the first container.
10. After that time, cork and store the bottles in a cool place. Allow the wine time to age. Most recipes recommend waiting at least six months, preferably a year.

I get confusd between step 1 and 3. Am I really proofing yeast for two days? I doubt it. Maybe georg or minstrel will straighten us out on that score. The idea of storing liquid uncovered in my basement sounds like a recipe for sticky varmint-related disaster. Ooh! Tips, etc.:

* It may take more than three weeks for your wine to ferment if your home is cold. Try putting the bottles on top of your hot water heater or behind your refrigerator for faster fermentation.
* This recipe will produce a light wine that mixes well with tossed salad or baked fish. To add body or strength, add a sweetener, raisins, dates, figs, apricots, or rhubarb.

Warnings
* Avoid using dandelions that may have been chemically treated. Also, try to stay away from dandelions that have been graced by the presence of dogs, or that grow within 50 feet of a road.

Graced by the presence of dogs? Also: I’m in New Jersey. There’s not a speck of lawn further than 50 feet from road. Five blocks from my house, people grow pre-smoked tomatoes in postage stamp-size gardens on the curb. Bon appetit!

To sum up: while famine is spreading and white lightning is now $4.25 a gallon, lawn debris is actually foliage and you can brew up your autumn entertainment now. April and May are prime dandelion picking season, but it’s never too soon to plan ahead.

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