Monday, October 22, 2012
The world is a better place due to wineries and I am looking forward to the day when they are available on all country trips...well, at least that is my opinion. We stopped at this winery in the photo above in the apple country in Pennsylvania last week. It has only been in existence for about five years. Yes, my European and South American readers can turn up their noses at this. We are babies in this industry, at least on the east coast, and I admit, most of the wines reflect that in lack of sophistication.
This winery is called the Hauser Estate Winery and the building itself is brand new. I was told by the visitors center staff in the town when asking for directions to the winery to look for a lovely building on a hill. Well, one person's "lovely building" is another person's new and somewhat boring rock structure. They do have the catbird's seat on the hill, though.
This view is across an agricultural area known primarily for its apple orchards. One can purchase a glass of wine and sit out on a very large patio and drink in the scenery along with the fermented grape juice. They even have shawls and wraps near the door to borrow on cold days. On our day there was no need for anything but a light sweater.
But this post is more about the conversation that I had with the woman who poured our (my) wine. (They have apple cider for those who want a less strong drink.) She is the (one of the?) granddaughter(s) of the man who created Musselmans apple products in America, most famously you may know the applesauce. Her mother and two aunts have built this winery as their new enterprise and 80% of the grapes they grow are used in their wine. The daughter went on to say that they were moving into the wine industry because it now was cheaper to import apples from China to make applesauce then to grow them in our own country. It now is cheaper to import apples from China to make applesauce in this country then to grow the fruit in our own country! We no longer manufacture most things in this country...we don't even grow fruit economically it seems even with the rising costs of fossil fuels! What would Johnny Appleseed say? Or, perhaps, he viewed this on a much smaller more personal scale when he took his trek.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
For some weird reason we decided to use the rest of the tax refund (i.e. that free loan that you give to Uncle Sam, AND in our case, the State for a year) and spend it on paving the driveway. Hubby and I have gone back on forth on the environmental issues, the weeds with ticks that appear by August down the drive vs. the toxicity of herbicide and pesticide vs. the oil runoff of asphalt and the heat that it will bring to the front yard. I think what pushed us over the edge was the inability to shovel a gravel driveway with any success this past winter after week after week after week of snow.
Then hubby, who is the least pretentious person I know, decided he wanted pavers for the part closest to the house. (Yes, you can close your mouth.) That is an expensive decision and certainly not necessary. I was/am so shocked I decided to go along with it. As I frequently say these days, I am going to die someday, so why not? I do not fear or welcome death; I just know that I am now on that downhill side and any decisions I make are not that important when they help employ others in this recession.
Anyway, I sit here at my desk with clouds of powdered cement drifting across the outside front yard and coating every green leaf and colored flower petal as workmen begin to saw into chunks the current cement sidewalk before starting on the driveway paving. Oh yes, this will be major. The house shakes as they lift huge chunks of cement with a bulldozer and dump it in their truck. The workers (you know, the ones with the green cards that everyone wants to ask for to make sure they are legal ...the ones who are essential to our lifestyle...the ones that actually helped, in a small way, keep retail businesses open during the recession... and one of whom has only two pairs of work shoes but will not wear the other pair for weeks because a bird nested in them on his back porch) are covered in cement dust as they use cement saws to cut chunks of 4 inch thick concrete into manageable sizes. The white guy sits in the front loader and moves the cement to the truck.
They had to carefully move quite a few established plants from either side of the walkway. I am hoping they survive.
Mrs. Bluebird left early and I have not seen her return, and I am VERY concerned that we have driven her off her nest. The distant chickadee in the far birdhouse is still hanging in there in spite of the noise and dust. We had forgotten the issues of spring when we scheduled this project. We also should have been prepared for the washing machine gasket problem (in prior post) and the compressor going out on my little wine cooler in the kitchen.
(Did she say she has a wine cooler in the kitchen? Really?)
Anyway, neither of these are going to be repaired anytime soon.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Yesterday I went to a wine festival. I haven't attended one of these in a decade and discovered in my old age that my palate can get quite tired of the swishing and not swallowing as much as it got tired of the actual drinking. There is only so much wine an old palate can survey before it all starts tasting the same. I decided I was going to just compare the cabernet sauvignons, pinot grigios and maybe a chardonnay or two...but I also came across a new wine called a traminette. Some of you may be familiar with this white wine, which used to be NY65.533.13 and has only recently been given the name Traminette. It was developed at Cornell---those aggies have a grape breeding program. If you go to the link you can see that the wine grows best in a climate such as the mid-Atlantic and thus the one I tasted was both fruity/spicy and also smooth without being sweet. So with a 15% discount I had to pick up 6 bottles of this and then 6 of another wine they had, the Viognier. This is an old grape but also one with which I am not familiar.. Its buttery flavor on the tongue was what won me over.
I now have a mixed case of white wines to get me through the crisp fall days. I also bought a small basket of fuji apples that are so crunchy sweet we may eat them all before I get around to making another pie. I sliced (too lazy to peel) them and fried them in butter, brown sugar, threw in some cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, black walnuts and some dried sweet cranberries...a dessert that was so quick and easy last night and put the perfect ending on our dinner of fresh corn on the cob, tomato salad and crab from the dock. I have died and gone to heaven.