I haven't been feeling incredibly witchy lately. Depression has been a bear these last few weeks, and I don't like working when I can't focus and my energy is icky. Things are getting better now, I think. We're having a terrible drought and heat in Texas. Everything is moving so very slowly, people and animals. The plants are all dying, even with watering and all the care I know how to give them. We're all out of sorts down here at the moment.
Since it just didn't feel like the right time to do a lot of work, I worked on building the skills and knowledge I need for when my energy does come back to normal. What does that mean? It means experimental making of mead in small batches. You can make some too! I've been dying to try my hand at sacred mead for specific holidays and purposes, and I'm thrilled to have found a way to dip my toes in without having to buy the full brewing setup.
This is the first batch. It has an especially delicious kind of apple in it, local honey, cardamom, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and culinary-grade rosebuds. My giant man and I are considering making wedding mead for our fall celebration. It would be awesome if it tasted good, it would be cost-effective, and we have a little time to find a great date and time and moon to make sure it's full of all the good things one would want. I'm really hoping we don't make vile mead on the trial run...
This is our backup batch, made with oranges, cloves, and currants. It's a supposedly fail-proof recipe. The bottles have punctured balloons on top to let gasses escape as it ferments, while keeping contaminants out. (Don't worry - wedding mead will be made with all the gizmos and tools.) I think it looks like I'm making prison wine, plus we're keeping it in the guest bathroom since it's nice and dark and cool in there. Classy!
Harvest has officially begun, but with the plants dying and everything dried out, there's not much to wildcraft into mead or anything else. Instead, I'm examining things I've learned in the last year, examining thought patterns. The good lessons are treasured and enjoyed and kept, while the rest is taken by the wind. Even though there is always bitter alongside the sweet, I'm not going to preserve the bitter parts this time around.