. . . . it's been so long since I've blogged that the garlic I blogged about last has already sprouted and started coming up. Which may say something about my lack of blogging, but really says a lot about the BIZARRO WEATHER we've been having. First really warm, then monsoon, finally a frost (last week!!!) and then more monsoon. Hope the garlic makes it after this early sprout and then all the rain/freezing. It snowed up north at my Mom’s in Vermont last weekend (insane!!) and we might get some snow in Columbia County tonight (even more insane!!).
Anyway, apologies for the long absence. Here's a summary of the important topics in my life:
Home Improvement: previously mentioned Monsoon reminded us of Several Important Projects that had not been completed (leaking vent over the stove in the kitchen, bad windowsill upstairs that does not drain in conjunction with lack of one pane of storm window on same window.) Water is not our friend!!! Fortunately we were at the house the first weekend of deluge, and fortunately the deluge subsided, so water damage was mopped up before it did more damage to several floors and said window was covered securely (we hope) with plastic until spring when we can replace the damned storm window. In the meantime need to figure out how to fix the drainage issue for good. Fortunately we have re-enlisted our friend Steve to do some sundry Home Improvement jobs now that inside work is the order of the day. Steve came this past weekend and installed the new stove hood we bought and started patching the kitchen wall and sealed up the hole where the stupid duct was installed stupidly. It doesn't look great at the moment from the outside, but hell, it's no worse than the ugly (leaking) vent and now doesn't leak. Hooray for sealed exteriors of the house, is all I can say.
Work front: It’s been busy and just got insanely busy. Plus I can't say no to anything so I'm doing tastings, classes, you name it, galore on what seems like every night of the week plus weekends. Good thing I actually love teaching wine classes (once I’m doing them) and seem to have a surprising resource of patience for talking about wine to the “general public” or I’d lose my ever-lovin’ mind.
Which leaves the home/cooking/drinking wine front. We've been dealing with drying herbs and preserving the last of the garden produce like mad. For example: this week? when to find time to make sauce with all those un-vine-ripened last vestige tomatoes that are ripening?. . . . plus roasted buttercup squash -- frozen, plus freeze-dried chives and parsley. My sister just called and is my Heroine of Tomatoes for the moment because she’s been dealing with her indoor-ripened tomatoes thusly: core, chop in half, chuck into roasting pan with some whole garlic and salt and roast for 45 mins at 400 degrees then puree. Thank god for family that is as crazy as I am, if only for the canning/food preservation tips that can be exchanged in the midst of mutual madness!! (she called me the other week for applesauce instructions – I wish I could say I’ve made some this year, but that would be a lie. )
Both apartment and houses have been only cursorily cleaned (since it's now Indoor Season) but need more.
Wine tasting has brought some new favorites. For example, I'm obsessed with Lagrein, a Northern Italian grape variety!!!. . . some good ones tasted at tastings, a couple of good ones drunk on variously successful nights out. . . conclusion is I love this grape. Can’t decide if it reminds me more of Loire Cabernet Franc or Northern Rhone Syrah, but has qualities I like in both (a little rustic, but not heavy, a little spicy, a little note of green. . . ) I’ve also decided to bite the bullet and teach a French wine class in January. . . . since French wine always seems to be my reference point I’ve really avoided having to put it on paper and do this class. . . . so much easier to teach about things I know nothing about – say, for example Portuguese wine which I’m talking about on Thursday, god help me! But maybe I can pull it together and do justice to the wines I really love in three weeks?
Speaking of France, P just left for ANOTHER two week + buying trip in France (I am so jealous. . . .). Supposedly I'm going to use these few weeks of bachelorette-dom to catch up with cleaning, writing, friends, and general sanity. In fact I think I’m just going to work a lot, forget to eat dinner and throw away a lot of those not-quite-ripe tomatoes I’m supposed to deal with. Oh, and keep the cat happy by being hers alone for two weeks +. Little does she anticipate the few moments per day I may actually be home, poor beast.
Will try to get it together to blog more, at least!