Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nocino onto its second step, and a garden query

© 2009, Joshua Stark

This is my first year experimenting with making preserves of one kind or another, and yesterday was time to open up the jar of green walnuts, cinnamon, lemon peel, cloves, sugar, sparkling wine and vodka that had been steeping on my back porch, and filter out the liquid into a new container.
Here's a pic of the process, just a cheesecloth over an old kimchi jar (a korean market around here sells them for 79 cents each!). I did this on the grass, because I'm overly afraid of the legends of the staining abilities of walnuts!

Anyhoo, my concerns were (mostly) allayed upon opening the jar, when I caught scent of the aroma... of course, alcohol-y, but also sweet and deep. Steeped green walnuts smell like food, and I am now very excited to wait the next 6-24 months recommended by the instructions...

I will actually break this open for drinking next Spring, just as the green walnut season gets started. If it is good, then I will commence to making much, much more (I have access to quite a few green walnuts).

I also took the solids, and added 3/4 cup of brandy, and the rest of the sparkling wine to it. I'm told it makes a second, less-potent liquoer. However, I forgot the sugar in that recipe, so I'll have to break that one open today.

Now, my garden question: It seems all of my peppers are doing remarkably well, except my bell pepper, which wilts a'la my cukes and zukes...
It's the pepper in the middle. Any suggestions? The two on either side are a jalapeno and a sweet wax (which has made some big, but nearly tasteless, peppers).

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