Bread and Thread: Wine

Bread and Thread Wine Transcript

Opening music

liz; welcome to bread and thread, a podcast about domestic history. I’m liz.

Hazel: I’m hazel. we’re two friends who studied archaeology together and love history.

Liz’ I’m quite excited about what I’ve been making this week because my pattern arrived for the reversible chameleon.

H: oh

L: I’ve been working very hard on this

H: that is definitely a good thing to spend a lot of effort on. how’s it going?

L; I’m past the halfway point, I’ve got a lot of the limbs and the eyes done so I’m just at the bum of the other side. it’s getting there it’s starting to look like a lizard.

H: that’s exciting, is it different colours inside and outside?

L: it’s grey on one side and multicoloured on the other side all random stripes.

H: business on the inside p-arty on the… outside?

L: exactly like when I wear my iridescent doc martens to work

H: you should bring the chameleon to work.

L: I’m not sure where it would go in the people’s history museum but I at least feel my supervisor would enjoy it.

H: just place it strategically around the displys and see if anyone notices

L: now I’m tempted to make one for my supervisor for when my placement ends I think she’d be into it.

H: that’s a good idea

L: I have also been baking this week. I’ve really been craving chocolate cake but the only chocolate we’ve had in has been Options hot chocolate orange powder turns out if you make a cups worth of hot chocolate powder with 50ml and mix it into a cake mix you get a chocolate orange cake

H: that’s a coincidence I made chocolate orange cupcakes the other day they were great they had mini eggs on top and orange buttercream

L: you either sent me a picture or put it on the bread and thread discord server

H: I’ve also become a quarantine cliché because I’ve made a sourdough starter

L: does it have a pun name like ours does I sd the important question

H: yes it’s called sourjoe

L: is that named after your boyfriend

H: it is but it also works as a pun so…

L: how does joe feel about this

H: I think he’s equal parts weirded out and kind of proud. But I can’t see him gforf the forseebale future so the sourdough is a good replacement I think. I’ve been toying with the idea of printing out a face and sticking it on.

L: you should make a little bread boy. Like a gingerbread man made of regular bread

H:: I think we’re getting into slight wicker man territory

L: I’m thinking of Little Ottik where she gets this log and acts like it’s hier baby but it comes to life and starts attacking it’s really weird

H: it’s not anything I expected to be a film. On that weird note would you like the hear about some country wines?

L: I would

H: excellent I’m glad you do. Bnhy country wines I’m referring to any wine that isn’t grape wine so fruit wines flower wines root vegetable wines except things like cider and perry which kind of are wines but historically are their own thing so they’re not included in country wines. So they’re kind of known as fruit wines or country wines or hedtgerow wines

L: I like that one it’s evocative.

H: yeah it makes you imagine being under a bower of flowers whiole drinking wine and probably foliki dancing idk

L: I imagined ventingturing into brambles with a wicker badsket

H: it’s what I did last october and it’s a loit of fun

L: we don’t have any good brambles around here

H: oh no! Blackberrying I wonder if that’s as much of a thing elsewhere in the world I guess pprobably but it I like how even if epople are not normally that into nature and going out in the wilds and stuff or foraging blackberrying is something everyone does

L: it’s where the premise is “come to my berry farm and pick some fruit”

H: true, yeah blackberry is probably treh most famous fruit to forage. Wine I’ve found goes back to early 7000 bc in China they’ve found evidence of wine being made. Fruit wines are thought to be older because people would apparently discover the process of wine maki9ng before grapes

L: I guess it’s one of the easiest things to maike because you can do it accidentally. Animals get drunk off fermented fruits

H: I guess it’s anything you ferment you can turn into alcohol and huamns discovered that pretty quickly. isn’t there a theory that agriculture started partly because of beer making

L: yeah we had beer before we had bread. The idea was we like beer here’s how we can make more of it

H: mm solid beer. we should do an episode on beer or ale.

L: looking at ancient beer.

H: some of the earliest freuit wines we know about were made by the ancient greeks and romans. They were made with wild fruits and berries and apples because apples were apparently introduced to a lot of europe by the romans. We should do an episode on apples too.

L: aren’t they from kazakhstan as well?

H: they are yeah I watched a documentary about apples apparently there’s a forest in [inaudible] where wild apples are edible ususaly wild apples are too small but they’re edible just as they are so they’re the ancestors of most modern apples.

L: we should go to kazakhstan

H: I want to!

L: if we get enough patrons

H: we’ll go on a research trip toi kazakhstan. So the reason grapes got so popular for wine is grapes have the perfect balance of sugar and juiciness and everything that’s needed to activate the wild eyeasts in the atmospehre

L: that makes sense grapes are amazing

H: which is why most wines are made with grapes today. Other things need a little helping hand to get it to ferment so they might need yeast or sugar added. So when I made my blackberry wine I added sugar and yeast. I think I added a bit too much sugar becvause the sugars are turtned to alcohol in the fermenting process so I think ik added a bit too much so that’ s why my wine is so alcohol but modern wine makers use yeast and sugarr anyway which alows them to control the ABV or alcohol content of the wqine

L: that makes sense

H: and wine today is a lot stronger than it used to be when you read about ancient people drinking wine they weren’t drunk sall the time. it’s just that wine was less strong

L: the athenians used to dilute it and if you drank your wine straight you were seen as barbaric.

H: I’m such a barbarian. Ooh fun fact which country consumes the most wine in the world?

L: if you’re asking me this it means it’s not France which is too obvious.

H: not france.

L: is it us?

H: it’s not us, though we do drink a lot of wine. It’s Vatican City.

L: I’m assuming it’s per head.

H: yeah it’s bottles per adult per year.

L: and it can’t all be jesus blood

H: yeah apparently there’s a lot of wine drtinking going on in the vatican

L: they need something to do they can’t do a lot of the fun things

H: yeah, but fruit wines have always been popular because they’re easy to make yourself and in a lot of climates where grapes don’t grow very well it’s traditional to make country wines and basically make wine out of whatever you’ve got because it’s cheap the fruit is free you can just go out and get it you just need to buy sugar if you do it traditionally. Historically fruit wines and different kinds of wines have been enjoyed by a lot of people most famously mead which is honey wine. Mead is delicious also good as a dessert wine because it’s very sweet. Muilled wine in winter is amazing

L: I don’t drink but I am a fan of mulling I’ve had mulled apple juice which is nice.

H: just mulling things is great. so eleanor of aquitane was a fan of pear wine and leonardo da vinci reportedly kept peach and fig wine in case he got thirsty and there’s a lot of regional kinds of fruit wine so in Japan and Korea, SE Asia plum wine is quite popular as there’s a lot of plum trees. In fact when I was living in Vietnam we went to a B&B and the grandfather of the people who owned it gave us some plum wine which was more like brandy. It was pretty strong. But yeah good stuff. Rice wine obviously in hawaii they have pineapple wine, philipines does it with mangos. In finland apple wine is quite popular, outsells grape wine.

L: can I ask you a question – is there a functional difference between pear wine and perry or is it nomenclature?

H: yeah perry is basically pear cider it’s the same thing. Basically I don’t think there really is a difference please correct if I’m wrong there must be a country wine marketing board if there’s a uk tripe board there must be. But I believe there’s not much difference at all between perry and pear wine, it’s an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Sometimes it’s sparkling but you can get still perry so I think perry and cider are essentialy the same process as wine making but with added yeast I think. But historically because they have been such a category in themselves they’ve been separate from country wines because they were made industrially.

L: I guess the wurzels singing about apple wine wouldn’t have been as good.

H: the wurzels are the main producers. Also in Arsenic and Old Lace…

L: love that film.

H: it’s about two sweet old ladies who murder people because he’s just so lonely kicking about in that house by himself.

L: they take in lonely old men and poison them and bury them in the basement. Also there’s a guy who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt.

H: I forgot about that! Yeah the poison is Elderberry wine thta’s been poisoned. Idk if thewre’s any symbolism there but i9t’s interesting. So you can make wine out of as I mentioned basically any fermentable plant material. Some of the most popular ones are elderflower wine it’s a very popular country drink it’s sort of a dry white wine, dandelion wine which is quite bitter but some like the taste, apricot, cherry, blackberry, raspberry, any soft fruits will make a sweet wine, blackcurrants… and there are some interesting ones I’ve found for example oak leaf wine Idk how that tastes but I’m tempted to try it, nettle wine and birch wine.

L: I just looked up I was sure there was something with elderberry so the genus that elderberry is a part of is called sambucus which sounds like sambuca it’s the etymology of sambuca so even though sambuca now is like a star anise thing that’s what its main flavour is it actually comes from an elderberry liqueur and it gradually changed to be a star anise thing.

H: I’m glad I know that now. So the traditional way to make wine I’m going to talk a bit about the traditional way to make these country wines and how people make it today what you need in order to get started if anyone’s interested in doing it so I made my first wine last year and it was a blackberry wine I’ve already posted about i9t on our twitter I think it came out quite nice very dark red a little bit acidic not too much quite alcoholic but overall it’s definitely wine and it tastes ok I’m pretty happy with that I’m going to adjust the sugar quantity, change the alcohol content. My granny used to make wine I used to have a book of hers easy made wine and country drinks by mrs gennery taylor published in… it’s in roman numerals I’m pretty sure it’s the 60s.

L: want to type it into a chat? I’ve had a roman phase I’ve still got numerals.

H: ok. We can edit it out.

L: 1957.

H: ok!

L: so if you just say 1957 we can just edit that.

H: so I have this book published in 1957 it has recipes for a lot of wines made out of pretty much everything. it’s intended for the ordinary housewife or perhaps her husband.

L: ooh men in the kitchen.

H: scandalous!

L: my granddad made beer but my granddad cooks.

H: my granddad embroidered so I guess what we think of as gender roles weren’t especially traditional…

L: depends how weird our granddads were.

H: we have a tablecloth granny and granddad made when they were courting as he puts it. They embroidered it together and he was mad because she made him do all the leaves and she got to do the flowers. We still have it it’s one of my favourite things.

L: amazing.

H: I’m going to read this recipe for blackcurrant wine the only ingredients are 4pounds of blackcurrants 4 pounds granulated sugar and 1 gallon of water. Strip the blackcurrants from the stalks and wash them carefully so not to lose too much of the juice crush them well with a wooden spoon cover them with water and stir thoroughly. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 days but no longer. Strain it and add the sugar. Stir daily for 3 days then bottle. It should be ready in 6 months.

L: I love how straightforward that is.

H: yeah you basically put things in a bowl leave them for a bit add sugar leave it for a bit bottle it, wait you get wine. there’s no other instructions just that. The instructions is basically have a big bowl and a lot of houses used to have just a big bowl where you put everything in and put a cloth over the top.

L: I have one of these big bowls. you’ve seen my big bowl she’s big and brown and her name is Marjorie.

H: a lot of people would use a wooden or stone bowl for the purpose but the problem with that is wine fly. it’s a tiny fly that for no reason comes out of nowhere and is addicted to wine if it gets into wine it makes it sour and go off because it gets bacteria in there. If it’s not sealed or uncovered the wine fly can get in. normally the way people do it today and if you’re interested in making wine this is what you’ll need –you use a large container that can be corked or sealed in some way I use a demijohn a glass jar 6 litres that can be corked. If you look up wine making containers you’ll see something. And you need a fermentation trap. it’s a glass or plastic tube which is folded over itself I’ll put a picture on twitter it’s folded over itself it allows the gas from the fermentation to get out of the container while not letting the winefly in.

L: I’m picturing a U-bend. How accurate is that?

H: yeah. Basically. So when the wine is fermenting it releases gas and the gas has to get out or it’ll explode. It lets the gas to get out but the wine fly won’t get in. you add some water and the gas gets out through there but the wine doesn’t get out.

L: so just like a U-bend. I wonder if it was inspired by the fermentation trap.

H: who knows?

L: well the Ubend was a victorian invention.

H: yeah. So you get your fruit or whatever then you get normally about the same weight of granulated sugar for flower wines and herb wines it can be different. Then you pour water on them and you leave them for a few days and sometimes you can mash the fruit as well and leave it for a few days for the juice to seep out then you add sugar and you have to leave it for the fermentation process to begin. You can get wine making yeast from the internet.

L: how different is wine yeast from regular yeast?

H: I’m not sure but…

L: gotta use the fancy yeast for wine.

H: some people use campden tablets which sterilise the water so there’s no germs in it. it’s important to make sure all your equipment is sterilised as well and then you’ll need some bottles, some washed out ones is fine. You leave the wine to start fermenting and after about a week it starts fermenting so you can strain it I often leave the mashed fruit in a muslin bag or something and take it out. Then you can take it to your container and leave it to do its work and it will bubble it’s quite exciting and it will bubble away and you know it’s done when it’s stopped bubbling and you can transfer it to your bottles and let it age and have wine.

L: that’s very cool.

H: yeah there’s a lot of recipes you can find online a lot of books I don’t know a lot about it yet. I just want to finish off by reading you a recipe from this book. There’ s some cocktails.

L: wine cocktails?

H: wine cocktails. Let me just find it… it was in the front nevermind. I just want to read you a recipe from this book because it has some cocktail recipes in it. This cocktail is called guess what.

L: are you asking me to guess or what?

H: it’s the name of the cocktail. it’s called guess what. These are some excellent cocktails. You need half a bottle blackberry wine half a bottle rhubarb wine one wine glass of ginger wine one wine glass of port one wine glass of whisky mix together and you have the answer.

L: will the whisky do much?

H: I don’t know! it’s one of the most ridiculous cocktails. Although not as ridiculous as this one which is called lucky dip. Half bottle rhubarb half bottle marrow one glass ginger wine one glass whiskey one glass rum a tumbler of carrot wine and a tumblrer of ginger beer. That is definitely alcoholic. there’s one or two flavours in there, yeah. It sounds like an interesting time.

L: doesn’t it just.

H: there you go, short history and explanations of country wines. If you feel inspired to give it a go definitely will recommend.

L: please tweet us we want to know.

H: tweet us a picture after you’ve drunk the wine.

L: assuming you can still use a camera.

N: If you enjoy this podcast subscribe to our patreon at patreon.com/breadandthread. Rewards include recipes, instructional videos and a discord server where you can discuss crafts and food.

L: my local larder this week I thought I’d go local to me erm so you might be aware that in the past basically any handheld size baked good could be referred to as a caek or if you’re not from the north a cake so I want to talk about the amount of things from lancashire that are called cakes but are not cakes by any modern definition.

H: yeah I guess cake when I think of cake I think of a sweet thing.

L: they’re all sweet in the sense they’ve got fruit in them. Apart from one which is my favourite. it’s more of a biscuit. it’s a Goosnargh cake, and it’s traditional to eat them around easter. I think I’ve made them for you.

H: I think I enjoyed them. it’s an interesting name.

L: goosnargh is a small village nearish to Preston in East Lancs. We drove through there once on a holiday with my parents and we did pick up some.

H: you’ve been to the source so what else is called a cake but isn’t?

L: ok so most of these are pastries and are variants of the genre of food that is known locally as a flycake or a fly pie because they contain currants or raisins and so it’s a simlar thing to a lot of epople that I kinow refer to things as a garibaldi vbiscuits as a flys graveyyard as they’ve got the currants in. the first one I want to mention is a chorley cake is a thin shortcrust sort of a flat pie with currants inside of it.

H: I’d say that sounds good but I hate currants.

L: you’d hate most of these then.

H: it ruins a lot of traditional british cakes for me.

L: a chorley cake is normally a couple inches wide but you also get the sad cake

H: what sorry?

L: the sad cake. Cake that is sad.

H: you weren’t just giving me a nickname.

L: it’s 12 inches in diameter it’s a giant chorley cake

H: why is it sad?

L: it’s all flat and sad. what’s nice about sad cake though is you can have it sweet or savoury you can have it with butter or jam some people have it with cheese.

H: is it like a scone?

L: I’ve never heard of having cream on them but yeah similar flexibility.

H: I hereby name them the manchester scone.

L: there’s already a manchester tart which contains custard and cherry jam.

H: ooh.

L: they taste really good but cherries make my tongue itch so I’ve only had one. there’s also the eccles cake.

H: I have heard of the eccles cake.

L; you lived salfordish so you were close. The main difference between eccles and chorley is eccles is puff pastry so it’s a lot more crumbly so I do prefer an eccles cake.

H: I’ve had an eccles cake. there’s a lot of regional cakes that are pastry wrapped around sultanas.

L: yeah there’s a couple from the midlands and oxfordshire too but I’m talking lancashire. Eccles cakes are more firmly sweet as they have sugar on. One you might like is the blackburn cake it’s similar except instead currants or sultanas it’s apple as the filling.

H: that does sound good.

L: a puff pastry apple pie is a blackburn cake.

H: I am in favour of these.

L: those are the main ones I’ve encountered in my day to day life.

H: you’re making me want to come up and eat all these now.

L: you can get all these on Bury market which is my local market and the winner of britain’s favourite market.

H: what?

L: britain’s favourite market

H: you cut out again.

L: britain’s favourite market.

H: oh. Cool! that’s a contest?

L: it is. L: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. if you want to suggest an episode or local larder you can email us at breadandthreadpodcast@gmail.com 

H: we also have a patreon account, where you can find instructional videos, recipes, discord server lots of good stuff.

L: and we will see you next time

Closing music

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