September 21, 2008

Time to make the hooch!

Today is the first day of fall. Summer is officially over, especially in the Pacific Northwest, where it got so cold last week we have already turned the heat on!

We normally get a nice crop of Italian prune plums from the tree in our year, but some years it just doesn't produce, and this was one. Friends offered us plums from their tree so that we could make some of our homemade hooch. Although it's illegal to distill at home in Washington, you can make wine. Our "Pumpkin Plum" is basically plum wine. Here's the recipe --

First the Canadian "iceback" labor (Rik) picks 25 pounds of fruit.

Then I wash, halve and pit the plums, and place them in a mesh bag with a drawstring closure. The bag goes in a five gallon, food safe plastic bucket, which I picked up at Bob's HomeBrew Supply on NE 55th Street in Seattle.

Next we add ten pounds of sugar and close the drawstring, cover loosely with the lid, drag into the basement and wait three months.

After a three month fermenting period, we squeeze the juices from the plums, strain, correct the taste with a neutral alcohol such as vodka (if needed), and bottle.

Voila! The Pumpkin Plum!

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