I was in the mood for a movie last Thursday, so I swung by Hollywood Video on my way home from work. I was browsing through the recent releases when my jaw hit the floor. There, before my very eyes, I discovered a shelf full of copies of Star Trek: Nemesis. I had been waiting for months for this movie to come out in the theaters!!! What the hell?!? Did it begin and end its run while I was in Panamá? Or was I so consumed by my database class that I never noticed its theatrical release?
I rented a copy, naturally, along with another movie I had been wanting to see, El Crimen de Padre Amaro, a powerful Mexican film about scandal in a small Catholic parish. I watched Star Trek twice: it is perhaps the most important of the Next Generation movies and a must-see for any fan of the Star Trek franchise.
Many of you have heard me talk about -- and some of you have tried -- a wonderful tropical beverage called saril that I love to consume in copious quantities when I visit Panamá. I knew that saril was made from a flower, but I didn't know what it was called in English or even if it had an English equivalent.
Yesterday I discovered what saril is commonly known as. I have been drinking a juice brewed from hibiscus petals! And it so happens that Tubby has hibiscus growing outside his house. And I've been referred to an award-winning recipe for hibiscus wine. Any guesses what my next wine will be made from?
I didn't take as much care as I should have introducing the yeast to my wine must. I was in a hurry to get to Bitty's place and hadn't realized that I couldn't just sprinkle a packet of yeast onto the must. One is supposed to create a "yeast starter" by mixing, in a separate container, warm water, sugar, yeast, and some of the juice from the must. The yeast can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to four hours to get started, and then one gradually pours the activated starter over the surface of the must -- about half at once, the rest maybe two to four hours later -- until a good healthy fermentation has taken hold on the must. I didn't have time for this: I started the yeast on some juice I had taken from the must without adding warm water or sugar and, after waiting about thirty minutes, poured the whole thing over the must.
I'm supposed to stir this mixture once a day for a week before I transfer the liquor to the glass carboy that will serve as my secondary fermentation container. When I stirred last night, I checked for signs of fermentation. I honestly didn't know what to expect, never having done this before. I thought maybe the must would be all effervescent, like soda pop or alka seltzer. No effervescence was obvious. I checked again tonight, and I feared I might have to sacrifice a second sachet of wine yeast, since again it wasn't obvious that anything was happening.
But then I thought I heard something, perhaps a crackle or a pop. In a snap, I leaned my ear over the bucket and made an important discovery. Sure enough, those little yeasties are feasting! Ah, the sweet sound of carbon dioxide being fizzed into the air -- I never thought I would be so happy to hear it.