October at the Farmer’s Market on a cold Sunday morning has the sellers waiting in warm coats for the after church crowd. There was a seller wearing a fur hat! I did not stay and meander as usual, but bought another acorn squash and indulged in buying raspberries and a bouquet of flowers. The market ends in October. There is the Christmas tree market in December. But after that, it’s a long wait until April and the fresh scents of new plants for the garden and the first asparagus appears. (I feel wistful already.) To complement my mood, I went home and arranged the bouquet and the extra flowers that the seller gave me, for free, into a pleasing touch for my crowded kitchen. Then I made pancakes. This time the recipe had to be adjusted when I realized there was not enough milk. Easy enough, I substituted plain yogurt and some buttermilk. They cooked up quickly. With leftover applesauce I created a pancake sandwich of sorts by layering pancake, applesauce, a small smattering of honey and butter, then a pancake topped with a little pat of butter and honey. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Complete happiness on a chilly morning is this.
Since reading about wines, I became interested in organic wines and wondered whether I would be allergic to them. I was looking around for wine as a gift to share with Anna and Howard. Howard appreciates and understands about wines. I inveigled them into having me over to Saturday night dinner, by offering a bottle of organic wine and my squash soup. I did not add the chard at the end as previously I said I would, because the soup’s color was too perfect to wreck with green. We sat in the kitchen and chatted as Howard put together yellow beans with purple stripes, (amazing colors) string beans, red onion, pistachios, and some pear in a little butter with some Riesling wine thrown in for flavor in a pan and sautéed it all to perfection. He placed the veggies on squash pasta that he bought from the pasta sellers at the Farmer’s Market. It was very sturdy, like homemade pasta, and the best match for the vegetables. We topped this dish with a smattering of goat cheese. There was a yellow beet salad that had that earthy taste. All the flavors complemented each other well. (I’ll eat at this place again.) The organic Pinotage (Click the highlighted word for more info.) wine from Stellar Wines of South Africa rounded out the whole experience. It had a warm, rich red flavor. Yes, at first whiff, I did get a chemical smell, but right after that I tasted a mellow richness. (My nose was a little stuffed up after drinking it, but nothing like my usual runny nose and sneezing fits happened.)
Pinotage is a wine that was created in South Africa. It is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut grapes. Rule of thumb for organic wines, I was told, by a wine expert, is to drink it right away. Don’t hang on to it. (Not sure if that applies to all organic wines. Probably.) Organic wines have no SO2 added as a preservative, but it occurs in wine naturally. Some people react to sulphites. For more information on health and sulphites, click the link from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulphites Retrieved October 3, 2010.
Pinotage has had its detractors and its ups and downs in the marketplace. It seems just as with food, culture, fashion and all things related to Taste so too, the fortunes of wine depend on the opinions of wine people and the marketplace. As Howard mentioned at table, he has no idea what wine writers are talking about. (Didn’t I read somewhere that people buy a bottle of wine based on the label? That would be me.) Many was the time people told me their opinion about art, “I know what I like.” And while I smiled and nodded, I was secretly cringing that their opinion was untutored, and blind to the possibilities of what they might see or learn. I learned, over time, that being “untutored” makes for some truthful opinions. That’s a good thing.
Rise and shine! Have an opinion – share it please.