This is the part where I should tell you about all of my successes like how great the ginger ale is and how the blueberry soda is to die for. Well….not so much.

The directions said that The ginger ale should be fizzy by day four. I checked on day four and saw a few little bubbles but not much activity so I waited. Same on day six and day eight. On day ten I figured the stuff just wasn’t going to ferment and I would be drinking flat soda. I opened the first bail-top bottled and KABOOM!!!! The soda shot all the way to the ceiling. Bruce and I quickly pulled all the bottles and began popping the tops. I had to wash the windows and the cabinets and the floor by the time I was finished. I guess I should have followed the directions.

Now the blueberry soda on the other hand is in no danger of exploding as it has no fermentation at all. It tastes just fine. It just has no fizz. I’m thinking I may add some yeast and see what we get.

My DH spent yesterday peeling potatoes. We just couldn’t see tossing all of the scabby spuds so he peeled and I cut, boiled and mashed them, then filled freezer bags and froze them flat. It was a whole day project but we ended up with 20 meals of mashed potatoes rather than a compost heap of rejects.

We’re still working on the dried apples. I picked up 25 pounds of Cape Cod cranberries too so I’ve been making cranberry relish, cranberry sauce and jelly and a wonderful cran-apple sauce. I’ve been using the steam juicer which not only takes care of cooking the cran-apple mix but leaves me with 2 quarts of juice for each batch. It requires some sweetening but it’s very good. I just canned the juice along with the sauce for a full canner load.

A friend of mine lives off-grid and found that she rarely has enough power in her batteries to justify using her Excalibur. Bruce repaired the roof on her shed yesterday and came home with the dehydrator. I can borrow it long enough to get the rest of the apples dried. I’ll buy it if she decides to sell. Running two would save a lot of time and I could pass it around the neighborhood.

In the midst of all the work, we still found time to play. We brough the cider press over to our neighbors so they could press. It seemed like half the neighborhood showed up last night to sample wine made last fall and fresh cider. The difference in apple taste is remarkable. I spent some time washing milk bottles at Taproot Commons in the morning. This is the home of our raw milk CSA. There is something very Zen about that kind of repetitive work that appeals to me.

I’ll be speaking at Wild Oats in Williamstown on Wednesday evening if any of you are in the area. I like the speaking but small venues are rarely well-attended. I don’t mind for myself but I do feel bad for the planners.

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