Friday, 28 September 2012

Hell's Kitchen

We had just returned home, after a gorgeous long Sunday walk and managed to get our weary offspring up to bed.
I could not face the trauma of watching the new season of Downton Abbey and so I set about conjuring up a new batch of Elderberry Port.
Our once clean kitchen, soon resembled a Hammer Horror mash-up; in the opening scene, I seemed to be playing Damien Hurst, a role that deftly segued into something between Count Dracula, and Dr. Frankenstein.
I took my assorted bags of Elderberries out of the freezer and the first thing I did (by way of scientific preparation) was to empty one of them, partly onto the floor but mostly into the cutlery drawer!
I cleaned up, as quickly as I could, before the Head Chef spotted the blood red evidence spattered all about the place and continued to further create crimson chaos with my home made chemistry set.
First I boiled up the Elderberries; a process that does rather resemble a seething visit to Satan’s scullery. The smell is intoxicating and as I enthused the archaic brew onward, I’m sure something ancient also stirred, deep within my bones.
Then, after wiping a slightly maniacal grin of my face, I proceeded to sieve off the pulp. I poured the potent liquid onto the sugar and some currents (the recipe said raisins but I was improvising by this stage) and then stirred some more.
I had previously set the yeast to start, and by this time it was looking suitably active. So, after cooling the potion to "body" temperature, the final ingredient was added (with a pinch of wicked cackling). The demonic concoction was then drafted into demijohns and bubblers were added.
By the following morning my toils were no trouble, everything was Hubble Bubble. The rest is simply a matter of being patient…

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