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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Research, Reading and Resting Followed by Home Brewing

The weather report looked good i.e. it was going to be warm, humid beyond belief and thunderstorms. Perfect! At least perfect to sit around and perform the first three functions in the title.

A friend of ours refers to research on a regular basis. In fact for her it means read a book but it sounds good. Today I read a book or in truth three books.

First up was a library book on gardening by Bob Flowerdew which had some really fine explanations on the needs of vegetables. We have lots of books on growing vegetables but not everything you need to know is in one book. Hence we have a rather thick hard covered exercise book entitled "Jean and John's Vegetable Book" It is kept in the kitchen near the fruit bowl for easy access. Every time we learn something new about a vegetable it goes in the book.

So there you have it a summary of all knowledge in one place. In the front few pages double spaced is the A-Z list of vegetables i.e. one vegetable every second line. Then when there is something to be said about a vegetable we look up the page number and make comment. If there is no page number next to the vegetable we take the next available blank page, add the comment, title the page and place the page number against the entry at the front of the book. Pretty much an index in the front of the book. Need more space? Just take a blank page put in the information and add the page number to the index. Successful varieties or techniques all go in the book.

The next book to be read (or in this case finish using the new e-reader) was Faulkner's "A Second Look" the follow up to "Ploughman's Folly". I just wanted to refresh the memory on Faulkner's experiences in agriculture. In this book he addresses questions, challenges and shortcomings arising from the first book. This is a though provoking book for any farmer. The PDF version is available from the Soil and Health Library at no cost as are many other very good texts.

The next book (still unfinished) is Paul Ham's "1914 The Year the World Ended". This is not research just interest so it falls into the reading category. Well written, bloody long but very interesting. They say that WWII was created by the terms of settlement emanating from WWI. And to some extent WWI had some roots in a prior war where the terms of settlement were unfavourable to the French who lost Alsace and Lorraine. But I best not simplify things here because I'm only up to page 108 in a 650 page tome.

Resting, also known as meditation, is in fact sleep or napping. And that was included in the day's events.

BUT, just so everyone knows that work still gets done around the place a Guinness like kit was assembled.

The last kit made was from Newcastle Brew Shop using Munton's Mt Mellick Irish Stout, Morgan's Roasted Dark Malt, Fuggles hops, and black grain stewed in a coffee plunger. And it was incredibly good even a couple of weeks after bottling. Therefore it made sense to put down another batch to ensure some aging which could only make it better. Gavin Webber said Guinness or Stout is a Winter drink only. We couldn't disagree more. Jean loves it right now after a hot sweaty day. In Winter it is consumed without chilling.

We also opened the last bottle of what was labelled #7. A Guinness like Stout assembled more than two years ago. Well it was something else. Partly because of the age but partly because it was made from other ingredients. Brewcraft Imported Irish Stout, Munton's Dark Malt, Goldings Hops, Roast Barley and Acidulated Grain.

At HHF "if you like something then get some more" and we will source the #7 ingredients and do it again.

The cave was looking a bit shabby and I wanted to vacuum the floor but it didn't feel right to do it and not the house. So both got done. Amazing how the tumbleweeds appeared within a few hours.


As anyone reading this blog might gather housework is not our greatest priority. Of course if either cat or anyone of the three dogs volunteered to man the brooms we would be happy. They always claim not having an opposing thumb prevents them. Good excuse.

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