The Banjos came over on Saturday night. Mrs Banjo brought her first ever wine for racking. It was a raspberry made from Asda's finest frozen fruit. To be honest I wasn't expecting much from it but it is coming along very nicely. A good ruby red colour, clear, tasty and alcoholic. Of course we judged this on the merest sip during the racking process but I will be looking for the recipe. I might need to use frozen fruit as we replaced our raspberry canes this year, and thanks to the very wet Spring they were late in getting into the ground.
Tonight I racked one of my elderflowers and a rhubarb. The elderflower was made from fresh flowers. I'd previously used dried flowers. The flavour is good but it is rather too sweet for my liking. I'll try it again this year but will go easy on the sugar.
Rhubarb. What can I say? It never disappoints me but looking back at my notes I see I was very adventurous with this one. I started it in February 2013 and used a pint of pineapple wine as a starter. Then, racking it in October I seem to have lashed a bit of birch sap and rhubarb into it. It didn't clear that well but is strong. Not one for entering in the County Show.
And now, back to Paris. This is an illustration from Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline's Rescue. It features the Père Lachaise Cemetery which we visited on our last day in Paris. As Bemelmans did not see fit to include the last resting place of Marcel Proust here is my photograph.
I quite liked Bemelmans' depiction of Oscar Wilde's grave. There was no point trying to take a picture of the tomb as it was mobbed by school parties and middle-aged women in lipstick kissing the plastic barrier.
Interestingly, as London Sister and I were wandering around a handsome Frenchman approached us and enquired, “Proust?” We were so pleased that we had not been taken for Jim Morrison acolytes.