Thursday, 11 December 2014

Lemon Wine Home Made

At out recent amateur beekeeping Christmas party we were discussing home made wine and liquers.

I congratulated Paula who was my inspiration to make wine last Summer.  Paula had taken along two bottles to last year's Christmas party, offering us each a small glass of her amazingly good home made wine.

"I used champagne yeast to make this one" she said and it was very, very good.

So I reasoned that if Paula, a school teacher, could make wine, so could I.

I mentioned a lemon wine I make and offered to send her the recipe, which she happily accepted, so I thought I should share it with you.   Anyone can make this and the ingredients are easy to source.

Paula also makes mead with her wine and I am looking forward to her gifting this recipe to me ....  it only takes six months to mature, so that will be interesting. (Having never tasted mead I don't even know if I will like it).  We have raw organic honey, the essential ingredient and three young men living here to taste test. 

Note the bubbles!
This measures 10% alchohol.

Lemon Wine Recipe

This should be bottled in screw topped containers so that the fizz can be controlled when the bottles are opened.  If it is too fizzy you can reduce the quantity of raisins.

6 - 8 lemons, depending on size, preferably organic
1 cup raisins
2 kg sugar
1 litre boiling water
15 litres cold water

Wash and let the lemons dry.  Slice the lemons into a large container, add the raisins and sugar then stir in the boiling water.  When the sugar is dissolved add the cold water and mix well.  Cover and leave 4 days.  Strain, bottle and cap.  Leave 1 - 2 weeks before using and chill before opening.
Open bottles carefully.


Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Cannellini Beans with spinach, garlic and spring onions

It was Saturday night, a peaceful, warm and relaxed summer evening.
The New York steaks were resting at room temperature, the red/white quinoa salad was prepared, eggs boiled, wine opened and potatoes peeled and sliced ready for a quick frying.
From outside came the contented purr of the lawn mower, then suddenly hubby came bursting through the front door screaming "ah the bugg_rs are stinging me" as he raced towards the bathroom.

I could still hear the lawn mower purring away ...

A few minutes later he emerged and said two bees had stung him on the leg while another had stung him on his eyebrow.  Full of sympathy (as I know how much it hurts on your head) I offered the sting-ose, a steroid pill, anithistamine and aspirin knowing these would help him.

He went to lay down and I knew the barbecued steaks would not now eventuate ...

So I changed course and seasoned the steaks to cook inside on the teppan and made this hasty cannellini dish as another healthy side.


Cannellini beans with spinach, garlic and spring onions.

Serves 4 - 6 as a side dish

1/4 cup olive oil
400g can cooked cannellini beans, drained   (butter beans or chick peas)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped, optional
1/2 bunch fresh spinach, (4 big leaves) washed and chopped
4 shallots, sliced

Heat a small frypan with the olive oil, swirl and add garlic plus chilli (if using) to fry for one minute over medium heat.
Add spinach and beans, toss to combine and cook for three minutes or until the spinach wilts.
Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and fry for another three minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm.


(P.S.After resting for an hour, hubby's eyebrow was swollen from the bee venom and his jaw ached so much he only had two bananas for dinner.)

This is my speedy go-to vegetable offering, I would love to know what speedy dish you cook at these times and do you swell when stung by a bee?

Buon appetito, enjoy, Merryn xo