Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I want to PROTEST, too

There has been a lot of protesting lately. About racial discrimination and police violence. But where is the protest about public behavior. Every day, when I read the news, some idiot has driven his/her car into a house or store or building. Outrageous multiple car collisions killing many people from drunk or drugged drivers. High speed racing on the freeway. Looting businesses. People attacking bystanders at parades. Mass murder in schools.
I want to protest about a public that has gone mad.
I will never go to a mall again because it is a place to shoot lots of people. I can't stand to be on the freeway during the day with all the insane drivers. Driving at night is worse.
The Gas and Electric company has determined that my home is not safe for their gas meter and is going to install a large metal post to stop a car from driving into it. The car would have to go through my car and take out the side of my garage first. I don't even feel safe at home from idiot drivers.
So I am starting my protest here.
But I DO NOT PROTEST against the police. They have their hands full trying to control a society that favors Bad Behavior. Sometimes, they don't do the best job, but most of the time, they put their life down for people like me. I APPRECIATE THEM.
There! It is done. I have spoken to my computer, because no one around here wants to be told they have bad behavior.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putting the puzzle together

For the last 5 years, I have been planning and saving for a large exterior remodel of my home and yard. New patios and walkways. A wood shop in the back. Green house over a garden bed. Irrigation system. Lots of work, lots of money.
Getting money, time, and workers all at the same time seems to be a real issue here. Just about the time I had all the money together, a parent got sick and took up all the time. Then I got sick. Then we took the money and invested it because we weren't going to do the work any time soon. Then we would save again and get ready to start. Parent gets sick.... etc. Three parents have done this and finally the last two are in assisted living or nursing care. We have money in the bank. We have started the work.
It is not the way I thought it would happen, though. I envisioned the work starting in the back yard at the new wood working shed. Then moving to the patio south and west. Next walkways and patio north with garden walls and gates. And lastly, the east side fence and walkways. OYE! I was wrong.
It started on the East Side with drainage lines, new fence and guttering/downspouts to control water issue, plus some repairs to the existing facia boards and new side door to garage.
While I am cleaning up the mess of old fence and seriously trimmed shrubbery, filling green waste trash cans and the firewood bin, the construction on the woodworking shed has started. I now have no path to the wood bin and have at least one more week of green waste collection before I can get to it. Stuff is piled everywhere in the back. Dirt piles, wood piles, waste piles, broken concrete piles, tool piles, parts piles.
But the side is looking pretty good. New fence. New drainage. Soon we will need to break out the rest of the concrete sidewalk and call the cement truck in. I can hardly wait, even though it means more piles and more stuff to haul around.
I am not sure where this is going from here. I want a new patio in the front and on the west and in the back/south. I am suspecting that this patio in the south area is going to be last. It will involve a roofing contractor and lots of windows/doors/electrical and plumbing. There will be a side patio part with a built in barbeque/deep sink and maybe an outdoor shower.
I have no idea how long all of this will take. So far, we have been working for one week. I expect about a month for the work shed/sidewalks.
As I try to envision this project and its next step I realize I have no idea how these pieces will go together. There are other people working on it and they have their ideas as well. In the end, I will float along and see what happens. But so far, it is going well and looking good.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cotton, again

For the last 8 years, I have been saving money and planning for a back yard-side yard-front yard-entry way makeover. I have been hard at work getting the inside of the house the way like it, while keeping the rest from falling down. And along the way I have been sidelined by my health, parents needing help, funerals and graduations. Lots of little issues pop up and reset the priority list.
While I wait for my time to rip apart the mess and get the landscape in order, I have had some garden experiments. Three years ago, I planted cotton. It wintered over and continued growing and producing the second year. During the third winter, instead of cleaning it out, I ignored it and planted some wheat in a different area. Soon the wheat was done, and the cotton was blooming again. That brings us to year three- cotton bolls like crazy- construction on the way.
I have started working with a contractor to get this place DONE, well, mostly done. Everyone knows that a house is a continuous project. But I intend to get a lot done.
To my surprise, the area that I thought would be last will be first. The East side will get trenched, concrete removed and fencing. When that part is done, the entry way will get its time. Then the West side, and lastly the back yard, where the cotton is.
I have had a long talk with this cotton. I told it to hurry up or its seeds won't have a chance. Last year, I was still harvesting in January, but this year I must be done before the plants get dug up. This might be as late as December. There is still time to finish up some of those lazy bolls.
As much as I have loved this patch, and it has been of such low maintenance, I would like to make this a better yard. I am going for easy care, with a few garden beds, a small corner patch of cotton. Even still, this is very productive cotton and makes more with each consecutive year. I have so much to spin, I can't even find all the bags.
So the experiment will come to a close at the end of 2014. It has been great fun.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lime Marmalade

Since we came back from Montana, I have had a bit of a lime obsession. There was a salad there with lime zest and juice that caught my fancy. Then I started putting a slice of lime in my water. Ymm. Better than lemon. And then, double whammy, the grocery store had limes 10/$1- or 10 cents each. That did it.
I stocked up on limes. Then I had to find something to do with them. One year, I had made salted limes, but didn't like the results. I don't use that much salt in my foods and didn't find the product useful. I have grated off much of the rind of 5 limes which I froze for future use and I made some lime juice frozen cubes for later as well. Still have about 15 limes to go.
I decided that I would try some lime marmalade. Last year, my daughter made some Meyer lemon marmalade that was delicious. And Orange Marmalade has always been a favorite of mine. So with my new found love of lime, I settled on Lime Marmalade. Now to find a good recipe.
In my online and book research, I found many different approaches to marmalade. Sometimes, the qualities of the fruit affect how you will proceed. If the skin is so tough that soaking and boiling cannot soften it to mush, you cannot use the skin in any thick preparation. Only fine grating of a little bit will work. Some recipes called for paring the colored skin part, chopping fine, scraping the pithy white parts, making little bags of stuff, straining. Really, I am much too lazy for this.
I found a recipe that got me excited. Cut off the tough ends of the fruit, cut it in half lengthwise, slice thinly, soak overnight in water to cover. I am on this one. Let's follow the lead.
I sliced 10 limes very thin, there were no seeds. I put them in my container and they measured about six cups. I added 4 cups of water which covered them. I put them in the fridge and went to bed. So far, so good.
The harder part is in the morning. Simmer the fruit/juice for about an hour until the skins are soft and can easily be broken with the press of a finger. Let it cool. Measure out the water/lime mix. In small batches- 2 or 3 cups at a time, cook the marmalade with the following ingredients.
Add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of juice/pith.
Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in this pot- this will make it very foamy
Add 1/4 teaspoon salt in this pot.
1/2 teaspoon butter.
Over medium heat, stir the mix until the sugar has dissolved and the foam has subsided. Continue cooking with out stirring until the mix reaches 224 f degrees on a candy thermometer. Most recipes say to cook to 220 but I think it is a bit low and I have uncertainty with my equipment. Go higher if in doubt. IF there is scum or foam remaining, skim it off. For mine, it all stuck to the sides of the pot.
Ladle out the marmalade into sterile jars and water bath process.
Most of the actual canning process information can be found on line or in books. I don't want to repeat it here.
What I changed here, is that I added a little salt, butter and some baking soda. This was a synthesis of different recipes. I also increased the temperature because many people had mentioned difficulty getting the jam to set.
The first batch set up fast and very firm. So small batches seems to be the ticket. The second batch had 4 cups of juice/pulp and 4+ cups of sugar. It was a little softer, which is ok, too.
My 10 limes made about  8 cups of marmalade.
It is cooling now. I am thinking about English muffins and marmalade for lunch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wheat- part three

Sometime in early August, I finished picking the seeds out of the wheat heads. My final weight for this crop was 2 pounds 4 ounces. The size of the bed was 4 ft x 8 ft with a 2 ft x 2 ft section in another bed. I planted in late fall 2013 and was finished harvesting in mid June 2014. I watered the bed one time a week after the plants were about 4 inches tall. The chaff has been spread around plants to compost. The wheat stalks were put around trees and eventually mowed to grind them down to mulch size. Every part of the plant has been used.
I have been collecting salad recipes for the wheat berries. This wheat is a mix of different types of wheat because I didn't have just one type in the bag from the store. Unlike red winter wheat, which is what is mostly grown in the USA and made available at the store, this wheat was packaged as FARRO for making grain salads. In theory, it is supposed to be higher in protein but I have no way of knowing if this is true. The grains are larger than the red winter wheat.
When this wheat is cooked, it is soaked first, then boiled. The soaking water turns the color of light tea and has a fragrant grass smell. When it is boiled, it has a light smell but not really distinct. Cooking oatmeal has a definite oatmeal smell. Rice has a definite rice smell. For some reason, I thought this should have a definite wheat smell, but it doesn't. It takes about 40 minutes of boiling to get the grains to soften and become chewy.  More chewy than brown rice. The kernels are large enough to be distinct in the dish so that you can actually feel yourself chewing it. It does not appear to absorb a lot of dressing or juices from other vegetables.
So the next exploration is to find ways of serving this item. There have not been many occasions where wheat berries show up on the menu. Might be that the current Anti-Gluten movement would frown. But there are a few dishes out there.
While I was in Montana, I ate at THREE FORKS restaurant in Columbia Falls. We were staying nearby at a resort and driving daily to Glacier National Park. Evening dinner selections were limited to THREE FORKS and Burgerking or Pizza Hut.  THREE FORKS was surprisingly delicious and inventive. They had a beet and wheat salad that was absolutely delicious. It came with a grilled Trout seasoned lightly and dusted with ground nuts. My husband is not a fan of beets, but this was good to him so I had to come home and make my own rendition of it.
HERE IS A RECIPE- it is not exactly what was served at THREE FORKS, but good enough.

1 cup wheat berries (Farro, or some other wheat, or brown rice if you must)
soak the wheat for about 1 hour, drain and boil in plain water (no salt) for 40 minutes. If using rice, don't cook it until it explodes, just enough to be chewy.
Let it cool a bit.
Cook a large beet (scrubbed but not peeled) in boiling water for 1 hour. Cool, peel and cube into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside in refrigerator.
The rest of the ingredients:
2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
4-6 chopped green onions
1 cup chopped parsley, no stems
one or two stalks of cooked broccoli- this is a good place to use those stalks instead of the florets.
Cook them until just tender, strip of outer stiff skins and chop the stalks to 1/2 cube size.
You can also use cooked zucchini or squash or celery or green beans. This is the place to add those leftover bits.
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Assemble- place the wheat (rice) in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Add the drained garbanzo beans. Grate the rind of one lime over the beans, save the lime for the juice. layer on the parsley, green onions and other vegetables of choice - NOT THE BEETS.
Mix the olive oil and the juice of both limes. Add salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon salt and as much pepper as you like). whisk together and pour over vegetables. Toss, toss and then toss some more. Put the tossed veggie/wheat mix in a lovely serving bowl and spread the beets on top. If you toss with the beets, the whole thing will turn pink. Which can be lovely, but that is up to you.

This salad is tart. I like the tart lime taste. I don't add sugar as the beans and beets don't need it. You can reduce the lime juice or add sugar  or sweetener if you choose  when you are mixing the dressing.

There are some very lovely types of beets out there- Orange, Red, Yellow. All of them work fine here. The salad is rather pale and beige until you start adding beets and veggies. Broccoli stems are pale as well. The bright Beet color and the Parsley make the salad very festive. I would probably not use yellow beets here just because I like the bright colors. Another vegetable you can add is blanched chopped Kale.

This salad offers room for experimentation. It lasts for several days in the refrigerator and makes a great lunch by itself.

It might be worth planting wheat again, just for this salad. But it is possible to find wheat berries at the health food store, so I am probably not going to grow my own in the future. But it was fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wheat- Part Two

After cutting the stalks and drying the wheat heads, I realized that the process of removing the chaff was going to take a long time. The wheat had long tentacles. These were used by the plant to slide pollen down to fertilize the kernels. When it dried, the tentacle had ridges that would snag clothing or fur to help distribute the seed to new locations. This tentacle also had irritation qualities so that if you ate the seeds with the tentacle attached, you would have "distress". So the process must involve removing this part.
Thrashing/Threshing would be the way to remove stems and tentacles and free the heads for more processing. I found that I could break off these tentacles and stem parts by hand pretty quickly. This left just the heads to deal with- De-hulling.

De-hulling is where the real difficulty began. We don't have any equipment for doing this efficiently. A bird would squeeze the seed with its beak and the seed would slide out into the bird's mouth. I could squeeze the seed with my fingernail and do the same thing. Seed after seed, thousands of seeds. Millions of seeds. I tried rolling them, squishing them, beating them with a stick, stomping them, and at last I came to realize that I was not going to be able to find a way with my limited resources to extract the seed kernel from the hull- except by fingers.

To my husband I say, we will buy processed seeds and grind our wheat from them. As much as I loved the idea of growing wheat, I cannot process enough in a day to add to a pot of soup. We would be better to feed the seed to a chicken and then eat the chicken or the eggs.

I was able to grow two pounds of wheat in my little bed. In theory, two pounds of bread. But in reality, about 1/2 has been extracted from the hull and it may take me the rest of the year to extract the balance. This cannot be the staff of life. In the absence of slavery, there is no way ancient humans could rely on this product for daily food.

After some research, I found that many other home growers experienced this same problem with little or no success. In the modern world, wheat has been developed that has a weaker hull so that it is easier to  process. Apparently, Emmer is not the right wheat for easy de-hulling.

I have decided to enjoy the last of this process while I can, because I may never grow wheat again. Been there, hulled it, not going back to that. And while we are on the subject- Give a big YES! for the cotton gin. Picking out those seeds is another mindless adventure.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wheat- the staff of Life

Sometimes, I think I have gone mad. The desire to find out how things are done, or made, or grown, or processed... well, it is more like obsession than desire, but still I think it is valuable at least to me.
This year, the desire was Wheat. I had this package of FARRO- which is a whole wheat berry that you boil like rice to make salads and side dishes. The Anti- gluten free- side dish.
Let's get back to the bag of Farro. It said on the bag that you could taste the difference in wheat grown in different parts of the world, just like coffee or wine. This was grown in Italy. Part of me found this to be a challenge. I would grow some of this wheat and do a taste test to compare the two. They had sucked me in with their marketing drivel.
So, I had this idle raised bed that would be perfect for a crop of winter wheat. Was this winter wheat? Who knows. Farro- is a side dish, not a type of wheat. The type of wheat grown in Italy could be winter wheat. Or summer wheat, or red wheat or white wheat or soft or hard wheat. Or spelt! Who knows what they put in that bag.
I used about 2 ounces of the wheat in the bag to sow the soil and applied some regular fertilizer. Just to  be sure there was a chance this would sprout, I had test sprouted some and it was indeed fertile. Then I watered and watched. Sure enough, I planted in October and in about a week, I had some little grassy sprouts. Now I had to research what it was supposed to look like and how it was supposed to grow. Wheat- water once a week in dry climates to about 12 inches a season. In So.Cal during a normal year, we get about 6 inches a year. So irrigation was indeed the answer.  I watered weekly soaking the bed. Wheat grows for awhile then the snow covers it and it goes dormant. Snow. We don't get no stinkin' snow. It is spring all winter. I hope this is spring wheat.
It grew slowly all winter, but really picked up around February. By April it was very tall and in mid April it started to make seed heads- Ears. Now I had to find out how long this part takes and what to do next.
The seed heads need to go through several stages of growth- first they push out of the middle of the stalk. Each plant will produce several stalks, making a cluster of stalks from the same root base. In my plot, the stalks all started at different times. Over a month period, there was a little bit of bloom every day. This would mean that harvest would be  staggered and there would be a little every day over several weeks. Joy. I don't own a combine harvester for my wheat. It is all hand picked so a little at a time is a good thing.
The next step is for the kernels to grow to milk stage, then dough stage, then dry stage, then harvester? Wait, I just said I didn't have a harvester, so when do I harvest? Well, I decided to  pick at the late dough stage and dry the ears in the dehydrator to completion. This staggered harvest, hand picked and dried went on from mid May to mid June.
We had a killer heat spell, complete with raging wild fires in early May and much of the wheat decided to end right then. Some of it recovered a bit and kept going. By mid June, I was done and harvested the rest of whatever was left.
After picking the ears and drying them, then what? I don't have any tools for extracting the seeds/kernels.
I will continue the story in the next blog. Let us just say that- wheat is not the staff of life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fleece, fiber, yarn...?- Blanket?

As many of my friends know, I am a fiber artist and fleece addict. I am addicted to all the soft, fluffy things in life, but sheep fleece seems to call my name, jump into my car, and follow me around. This creates great masses of washed fleece piled into the wooly room. There are great piles of spun yarn, stuffed in there as well. And all the equipment for making yarn and doing things with yarn has spilled out into the rest of the house.
As I try to make some "order" in the "chaos", I get lost in the fluff for hours and nothing much gets done. Today, I cleaned up some equipment to put away in the wooly room and there were so many bags of fleece I had to clean out a spot. Half hour later, I am sitting in the room, playing with fleece and can't remember why I started. Except, I can't get out of the door because the spinning wheel is blocking my way. This is really way too much fun and way too much stuff.
I have now cleaned out a spot for the wheel, and other stuff has been displaced. More play time, I am sure, will follow. I have many projects "in progress" and will have to spend hours in the wooly room. But for now, I am being proud and happy that I have actually finished spinning and entire fleece. In 2012, I purchased a white corriedale/merino cross fleece from Nebo Rock ranch. I had purchased another, similar fleece for some spinner friends of mine who wanted to try the "fleece thing".
My fleece weighed in at 6.42 pounds/$160.50- $25 per pound and took 3rd place in the judging. After washing, combing and spinning- I have about 3.25 pounds of yarn, 2 pounds of felt pads for a felt project I am working on, and the rest was lost in the wash. This yarn is white and ready to become something or change colors, or who knows what. Which is part of the problem, actually. Just because you spun it up, doesn't mean it takes up less space. Now instead of a bag of fluff, I have a bag of yarn- same size bag. I much now weave it into the blanket I wanted and I will have a blanket the size of the bag when it is folded and put away.
The idea that stuff changes shape but not volume had not occurred to me when I bought the stuff. Now as I survey the bags of fleece waiting to become yarn waiting to become cloth/socks/ shawls/blankets/etc... I have to get rid of some things to make room for the new things. So that is the next step- to exit the wooly room and make some items leave the house. I have a plan, but am so slow at making it happen. Glacial speed. Stuff comes in faster than it leaves. Snow piles up, glaciers form. Now I need a nice warm melt down to move some of that stuff back out of the pile.
Two items will leave today. There will be movement.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Fluff of Fluffysgarden

I love to garden. It is spring and I am working in the garden to plant out my young seedlings. I am turning beds and spreading compost. I have pruned and now enjoy the flowers of my labor. I weed whack, mow, fertilize and herd snails. I have planted some new trees and are nurturing some young ones from the last planting. I have dug up the unsuccessful or dead items. The yard is looking pretty good. There is hope for a good fruit year and lovely greens from the garden beds.

I have started spring cleaning to eliminate dust and clutter inside the house. Cleaned floors, repaired bathrooms, washed windows and even washed out the refrigerator. This was a major job, by the way. Part of spring cleaning is to also get old stuff out of the cabinets so that expiration dates don't expire.

There are many things to do in the spring. And with all the cleaning, there is often a desire to start new projects, finish up old ones and re-evaluate habits. I am looking at my pile of sheep and alpaca fleeces, bags of bunny fluff, boxes of silk and exotic fibers. It is a big pile. It takes up the whole room and then some. I call it the Woolyroom. It is where Fluffysgarden spends most of her time.

I cannot begin to measure in weight the amount of washed fleece and fluff in the room. I can estimate that it is less than one ton. We are probably looking at something in the hundreds not thousands of pounds. I know that the garage has 10 pounds of unwashed fleece. Still, just the bags, not weighing them, are at least 25. Everywhere I look, there is another bag of fleece. 4 pounds here, 8 pounds there, 3 pounds under the chair.

What am I to do with all this fleece. Some is colored, some is white. Some is  long, some is strong, some is soft and fluffy. I am spinning it as fast as I can and still can't seem to empty a bag or even make a dent. And when the bags do get smaller, the pile of yarn gets bigger. I am weaving it and trying to knit it, but really I can't get ahead of the mass. It seems to grow larger and larger.

I have a terrible fleece addiction. I didn't imagine that it would come to this. One large fleece can offer two or three or many years of spinning pleasure. After making that lovely sweater, 4 pair of socks and three hats, there is probably half of the fleece left. Gloves, scarves, and some Christmas ornaments, still one third left. Some of my fleeces are four or five years old. I have a couple that are even older.

Part of the problem is that I spin very fine yarn and it takes a long time to make. It also takes a long time to knit it up or weave it up after it is yarn. Making fat yarn is faster, but I am not sure what I would make with it. I like thin items and they need skinny yarns. So part of the spring cleaning is to find ways to use up a bunch of this fleece.

So this is the project for the spring- felt squares, which will be sewn together to make a new canopy cover for my Pop up tent thing. I am estimating that it will use up 16 pounds of fleece. A significant dent in the pile, and possibly empty bags, will give me some room to move in the Woolyroom. And, of course, I will have an excuse to buy another fleece.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ghetto Speak

Every year, E and I try to take some time off for our Anniversary.  Sometimes we just stay home. Other times we go somewhere for a few days. This year we chose to re-visit Solvang, California. It is one of our favorite escape destinations. We go to Lake Cachuma and picnic. We go over to No Jokey (Nojouqui) park and walk to the dry water fall. We stop in at Village Spinning and Weaving for a visit. And we eat interesting meals and delicious cheese danish rolls. In the past, we have visited wine cellars and vineyards. This time we did that again, stopping at our favorite Kalyra Vineyard.
We also took a long drive through the country side on the west side of Highway 101 in Lompoc. This brought us to a rather strange destination. A Ghetto. But first, there is a bit of history to tell.

In our wine tasting travels, we have visited Wine Shacks. Part of the ambiance of the wine tasting road is to make the wine tasting experience as rural and unsophisticated as possible. You drive down a winding country,  narrow lane road until you pass a barn/shack with a wooden sign near the street. The shack looks like an old horse pen- no windows, barn type double door, dirt floor, strewn hay, portapotty, wine barrels with a board over, bare light bulb. A jolly, slightly annoyed man, clad in overalls greets you eventually and you ask for a wine tasting. They have 4 offerings and you have to keep the glass because they don't have washing facilities. The wine is bearable, but not great. They tell you all about the movie, Sideways. We look blank. We have never seen this movie. On to the next shack. Same thing. Finally, we find a regular looking tasting room/vineyard, with a reasonable selection. This scenario is for the people who want to get out of the main town and go to a real vineyard. Most of the in-town wine tasting venues are a mix of different wineries with one Cellar to be the seller. The prices are high regardless of where you go, but sometimes you just want to get out of town.

Kalyra Winery is on a real vineyard, even though most of the wine comes from grapes grown in Australia. They have a fun atmosphere, several great wines and dessert wines. Most of the time it is not really very busy. The people have always been great. There is a place to picnic. And they have never said anything about Sideways.

So after visiting our beloved Kalyra, we went on a driving tour of scenic Lompoc and the road ended in the GHETTO. This is a WINE GHETTO. So, what is this place? It is an industrial park, cum storage facility smack up next to a housing tract, off the main road, in a tangle of parking lots. We got there on a Saturday and the place was totally dead except for a few small places, huddled together, that offered wine tasting. We selected "Flying Goat Cellars". If Pigs can fly, then why not Goats? We were exploring the concept of Wine Ghetto, so I chose the goaty one.

There was nothing interesting about the environment. No trees, landscape, interesting signage, wall textures or colorful decorations. Next door was a machine shop that was closed for the day.  The entire Ghetto looked like this, not just the Goat. The windows had a sign and blinds. Inside, the floors were bare linoleum tile, walls white with pictures and stuff. Black painted crates to hold wine and items for sale. Industrial counter, no chairs. There were two women at the counter and a couple of people sitting near the wall in the only chairs. This cellar specialized in Pinot Noir wines. The cellar represented several small wineries. The choice was 4 Pinot varieties or The GOAT BUBBLES.

I chose the Pinot group. The ladies called it a "FLIGHT". This was not a wine tasting, it was a Flight. We took off. One marginal wine after another, one sip and we tossed the rest. The last one on the list had a slight fragrance of skunk. One of the ladies said that true Pinotphiles loved that one. She kind of spat "Pinotphile" like you might say, pedophile. In my limited life, I always associated the "phile" ending with a negative context, even though it meant to love. It is a physical type of love that the word refers to, not a higher love. Definitely not what I would think of for a wine. But then, I am not a vinophile, either.

After we decided that none of the wine was any good, I went to the bathroom and the ladies brought out one more wine that was not on the list. E was drinking some when I returned and he surprised me that it was "not bad". We bought one bottle, to remember the Flying Goat and paid for our flight.

So, Wine Ghetto speak? It is a bit hard to explain. It insults you and expects you to be happy about it. It takes a possibly pleasant experience and makes it as uncomfortable as possible. It tries to convince you that a really crappy wine is great because everyone else likes it, even though there is no one else there. Really, we got the goat end of the experience. But, that is part of the experience. Sometimes, wine cellars have crappy wine and they have to do their best to make you think differently. There were other Cellars there in the Ghetto, but we didn't try them out. One goaty wine was enough for us.