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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Moonshine Morning

Man, I was off to a rough start today.  It all started when I heard a giant "RAWRrrrrr!" come from my son's room at 3:42am.  My eyes shot open and I spent the next 60 seconds trying to figure out if I dreamt that obscure noise or if it was real.  "A" stopped snoring so it must have woke him up too.  We then heard murmurs about being "a lion" and "don't touch!" and then we knew that O was dreaming... out loud.  What a funny little guy.

I didn't get much sleep after that.  Every little noise was making me jump; and, before I knew it 7am had arrived and our little lion was ready to get up.  Hello Saturday.  We like to start our weekends off with what we call "Big Breakfast" and I was a little anxious because I had just got a brand new griddle that I needed to break in.  We're big pancake fans in this house, which is a shame because I burned every single one.  I dumped O's juice all over the counter (and also on the bacon, but don't tell anyone), and then I broke the yolks on A's over easy eggs.  "Geesh!  Come on!  What else can go wrong?"  I spilled my coffee down the front of my shirt, I kept dropping dishes left and right, and then I dropped the last ibuprofen down the sink drain.  "That's it!  Where's the moonshine?!"

I didn't really pour myself a "stiff one" at that point, but I could have.  You see, I have this giant glass jug full of the good stuff that's just waiting for the right moment.  However, this is not the type of drink that you knock back in one shot.  This is the type of drink that you savor.  It's been marinating since May and soon it will be ready to be squeezed, strained, bottled, and corked.  Triple Berry Cordial is our Christmas gift to the family this year.

I've been wanting to make it for years now, ever since my baby sister gave it a whirl about 10 years back.  She didn't do too bad, but I tweaked the recipe a bit and I really think I've got something special here.  I'm pretty excited to give it to the family.  I figure it will be a great addition to the holidays and give us all a moment to slow down, sit back, enjoy each others company, and savor something special.  8 months of preparation and patience is sure to provide all of that.

It's almost ready.  Just a couple more weeks and I'll be ready to bottle.  If you're looking for a unique gift idea I suggest you give it a try.  I included the recipe below.  Just try to maintain control and leave it alone... even on those really tough mornings.

Triple Berry Cordial

3.5 Liters Good quality Brandy
1C Granulated sugar
1C Honey (I use orange blossom honey)
6 lbs total frozen or fresh strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries

Combine all ingredients in a large air tight glass container.  Make sure to stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Store on a counter top or in a cabinet that is out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources.  Every 2 weeks for the first month give it a stir and reseal it.  After the first month you can let it sit until you are ready to bottle (best to bottle after 3 months).  Strain and reserve the berries from the brandy.  Be sure to squeeze all the juice and brandy from the berries before discarding.  Strain the brandy through either a coffee filter or a towel to remove all the little fruit bits.  This process will take a lot of time, is a little messy, and will need a lot of counter space and a few very large jugs for each part of the process.  Once your cordial is completely strained and clear it is ready to bottle.  Be sure to use sterilized glass bottles with good corks or screw on tops for a strong seal.  Sip, savor, and enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. I can totally relate. My weekend went fine but I seem to be having a "Midol Monday". It started with a broken high heel and has ended with a smallish kitchen fire. "How do you take your pierogies? With or without fire extinguisher foam?". Grrrr :(

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  2. Wow! Sounds like you should be making a batch of booze for Christmas too, and maybe consider transforming your day into "McDonald's Monday" :)

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