Friday, 30 July 2010

Explosive elderflower and blackberries

The elderflower champagne is ready.
I know that it is ready because it told me.
Well, it didn’t exactly tell me; it more screamed at me “I’M READY TO DRINK”.
The elderflower champagne screamed in the only way it knew; by blowing the bottom clean off one of the NASA Super Strength flip top bottles.
The studio now smells of dusky, musky booze.
The lady like fragrance of elderflower and lemon belies the steaming, menacing bottles stored ‘in a cool, dark, airy place’, i.e. the studio.

I don goggles and gently touch a bottle, the bottle frowns back at me, “just you try it”, the bottle threatens.
With my left hand, I gingerly pick it up using just an index finger and thumb; if any fingers get blown off, those are the ones to go, I reason.
I hold my breath, the tension mounts, the bottle and I stare at each other intently; a soft sigh of relief, my fingers are still intact.
Gently placing the eleven remaining bottles into a plastic crate, I slowly lift and carry it at arms length, with no sudden movements up through the garden with all the nervous calm of a bomb disposal expert.
My aim: to deposit the bottles into the safety of the fridge with no further damage.
On reaching the fridge and opening the door, all manner of milk, butter, cheese and other ‘essentials’ are turfed out onto the kitchen floor to make way for a glorious shelf of our own garden grown champagne.

Phew, stage one complete.

Stage two, the opening, was carried out with the same diligent measures.

One chilled bottle was carefully taken outside and placed onto the garden table with the greatest of ease. Crouching below the table I reached up, placed my fingers onto the flip top mechanism and; flip; a heady aroma hit me as the bubbly foam gushed from the bottle, glasses were filled and the first sip was taken.
The result was astounding, far and away better than any sparkles that we had ever tasted; fragrant with elderflower and dry with a hint lemon, this was truly the homegrown sparkly wine of the gods.

“Can we try some” giggle the kids, followed by “what is it?”
“It’s sparkles,” answers Tal.
“Sparkles?” questions Katie, “Is that the wine what tingles your tongue?”

Kerry and I drink the first bottle with the last of the garden new potatoes, lamb steaks and the first of the blackberries flambéed in brandy.

Truly a marriage made in heaven.

Well, a marriage made in the garden.

Happy to still have all requisite fingers I finish a large Yacht canvas.

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