Every year at Dandelion Season, just glance out the window and all you see is a sea of yellow, thoughts go back to the making of Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine. Out he would go in a prime Dandelion flowering season, and pick the choice bright yellow flowers. If you were lucky enough, you were asked to help pick the blossoms. You have to know that it was required to learn the right blooms to pick.
It was quite a procedure to get ready for this project the wee heads of the dandelion were washed and then. The recipe would come out, the old crock was put under the table in the kitchen which was used for preparing meals or baking. This way it was in nobody’s way.
Now I could hear a few grumbles from Grandma during the procedure and I could never figure it out as she did use this wine in her Christmas Cake. Grandpa did most of the work so she really should not complain. After all come Christmas and New Years a little sip she would partake in.
Following his recipe, he had used for years, I do not know the origin of these instructions but this is what we used. Now I know when the rations were on during the war, Grandma thought the amount of sugar needed would cut down on her supply of sugar for baking. Well Grandpa being Grandpa was resourceful enough to get a little bit from here, there and wherever he could.
Well the process began and within a short period the hooch was bottled and was set on the shelf in the cellarway to age. It was corked and seemed to be just fine but come a couple of months the corks would start to P O P!
I must say that this did cause some problems as after cleaning up after the popping of corks, grandma was not at all pleased. You know it was not an easy process re-corking the bottles. Soooooo when the next bottle blew it’s cork it was taken off the shelf and thrown down the sink.
When Grandpa came home from work some choice words were spoken and he was told to check all the corks. Now the shelf was a bit sticky so he could tell there were signs that some corks had been leaking. He proceeded to take all the wine of the shelf and place it in the sink. He washed off the shelf and some of the spots on the wall where he could see that some corks had been loose.
He wiped off the bottles and made sure the corks were in place and back down of the shelf they were placed. Grandma had informed him that the next bottle to pop would be the end of his supply for Christmas. This did make him check his bottles, not every day but enough that the wine was safe from the sink.
Come Christmas I can remember the wine was brought out at Christmas Cake making and it was available for Christmas Dinner. Even the young ones were able to have a sample of Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine, maybe a thimble full.
Just a little note when I had wine for the first time in Church it did remind me of Grandpa’s home made wine. It was always a question did Grandpa make the wine to be served for communion on Sunday, after all he did do odd jobs around the church.
No I do not think so, just a childhood thought.
From the Pen
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)