Saturday, June 2, 2012

Big Bang Experiments

Beware the power of food and drink. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the p├ętillance in my wine blew the top off the bottle as I unscrewed it. There have been other explosive incidents in my long history, as well.

Like the time my first husband and I visited his relatives in Pennsylvania and his cousin, the delightful Clara Esherick, gave us a bottle of her elderberry wine.  She had made that wine for most of her 92 years and she assured us it carried a kick.  Little did she know - when we got it home to California and put it in the cupboard, it continued to ferment. I don't know if the joggling in our ancient VW beetle as we drove it across country started it up again, or what.  All I know is that one evening as I was cooking dinner, there was a loud BANG! in the cupboard over my head, and a flood of purple juice poured out of the cabinet.  If the cabinet had been open, I might actually have been seriously hurt. As it was, I was just startled and had a mess to clean up. Worst of all, it also took out our bottle of gin.

My friend Wenirs tells me about the time her mother, Bobbie, was making catsup in a pressure cooker back in the '50s. In those days, pressure cookers had a heavy little weight that you placed over the steaming vent once the contents had come to a boil - it was the safety valve that kept the whole pot from exploding if things got too hot inside, and you timed the cooking based on when you put the weight in place. That late summer day, the contents apparently got too hot, as the weight was shot up so hard that it dented the ceiling and there was a hot geyser of sweet, red goo everywhere.

Not to mention the time I made my own root beer, back in New York state. I followed the instructions and used a little capper to cap my dozen bottles, then set them in the cellar to become fizzy. Several weeks later, my first husband and I were watching TV, when we heard a series of explosions, like distant firecrackers. Following our ears, we discovered the sticky river of root beer running toward the basement drain. One of the bottles had exploded with such force that it broke two or three of its companions, too. My gallant first huz refused to carry the rest of the bottles outside, for fear they would explode in his hands. He watched from an upstairs window while I summoned my courage and took them outside to uncap each one, the contents spewing about ten feet out, so great was the pressure behind the caps.

Making stuff at home is fun, as long as you approach it with caution and, sometimes, with riot gear. 


Blogger Toons said...

Zoomie you are the "bomb"! Cheers!

Saturday, June 02, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Still, you want to try. But, scary!

Saturday, June 02, 2012  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

Excellent choice of wine I must say :D

Saturday, June 02, 2012  
Blogger namastenancy said...

My ex-husband was into making his own wine and soft drinks. We had one too many explosions for one of our landlords who ordered him to stop or move.

Sunday, June 03, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Toons, oh, ouch! Corny! (I love it!)

Cookiecrumb, oh, surely, I keep wading into these projects despite the apparent dangers. That's the fun part! :-)

Ms Mouse, indeed. If you can get them in Oz, they are delicious - and aptly named. ;-)

Nancy, you had said your relationship was explosive but I didn't realize how much until you revealed this tidbit! :-)

Sunday, June 03, 2012  

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