Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great Day

Now and then I have a really good day and today was one of those days.

I let my neighbor mow the lawn. Why? Because the reel mower is so dull it just tears at the grass and because he badly wants to mow it, to feel like a man. He doesn't often mow his own lawn and his own grows a very healthy weed crop. But he needs to feel useful.

So, I said "OK" and that in return, I would flea treat his scratching itching cats. I caught one and did her, but the other two won't come to me. I'll get them done.

I told him his dandelion backyard crop should not be wasted. Dandelion blooms forever! I looked up a dandelion wine recipe then went and cut all the blossoms into a pail. If a bee was busy on one bloom, I'd wait until the bee had got its pollen. I had to tell him it would six months before we could taste the wine. The recipe advisement is letting it sit a year, after it's bottled, but I doubt I can wait that long.

I'm making the infusion tonight. Click the post title to see the recipe I'm using. It's simple and requires nothing but a couple oranges, powdered ginger, lemons and limes, fresh, for the peel and juice, some cloves, sugar and after boiling for an hour, a package of dry yeast. You strain it through a coffee filter before adding the yeast and let that mixture sit overnight. Then you bottle it.

I'm using old beer bottles, boiled sterile for 20 minutes to put it in, with party balloons over the top, with some holes poked in them. That's how you leave it for three weeks, with racking (straining) several times during that period, before you cork the bottles. I'll have to find some cork. Then you wait for six months, preferably a year. Yeah right.

This is supposed to produce a very light wine. They suggested if you want it more full bodied to add some peaches, apricots, figs or dates to the infusion. I had only dates, so I added a few. I had more dandelion petals than I needed. I'll try making more with different twists to the recipe. You can freeze the petals to use later.

He huffed and puffed with his power tools in my yard and took long breaks sprawled in his lawn chair, while I knelt in the waist high dandelions in his yard, carefully cutting off each blossom at the base so the petals would fall apart in my pail.

I went to Corvallis. I ran into all sorts of people I once knew. I ran into a security worker from OSU I once helped with cats where she lives. She's a kick. She had this huge huge bag of carrots. I said "Whoa, have a horse now?"

"Nope," she said, "I'm a juicer." She had a bag of flax seed and a bag of nutritional yeast.

She said she felt like shit all the time, tired and stiff and achy. She finally determined it was all the processed food and flour, so she switched mainly to juicing vegees and fruits and seeds and making chips out of kale sprinkled in fake cheese sauce made from blended garlic and nutritional yeast.

"You've turned into quite the natural girl," I said. She laughed. She gets her vegees mostly at Gathering Together Farm, an organic place down the road from her.
'What a change,' I thought. 'I could change like that,' I thought.

Then up runs Lynn, who picked out Fat Zach to adopt. I asked the little girl for a hug and got one. Her mother beamed and described Fat Zach's latest adventure.

Then I saw Donna and Jim. I've known them forever but haven't seen them in years. Donna's in wheelchair now. She didn't used to be but has always had a disability and a personality like a sunny day or a beautiful flower. She almost died over Christmas but didn't. She had pneumonia. We hugged and laughed and exchanged phone numbers. I promised to visit them. They live near Kmart in Corvallis.

I miss all my old friends in Corvallis.

But on lucky blessed days, when it rains and everybody's out grocery shopping at once, it seems, I run into lots of old friends and get lots of hugs and catching up!

I drove back home singing in my heart.

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