Have I ever told you of my days as an amateur wine maker? Yeah, well, it was just one of those things that have gone down in our family's Polack book of legendary bloopers. Here's what happened...
When I was a teenager in high school, every July/August was the time I would wander around outside picking wild blackberries on our farm. Some years, I got quite a bit of plunder and would look for creative ways to make use of them. My Polish Grandma told me a story of what they would do in the old country. Just make blackberry syrup! I thought it was a great idea. I got a large Mason jar and layered berries and sugar just the way Grandma instructed me. She had told me to put a cheesecloth on top, but when my Dad saw me doing that, he said, "Awww...they only did that because they were too poor for a lid. Just use a regular lid, it'll work just the same."
Hmmm...well, it sounded like a plausible reason, so I did what my Dad suggested and used a canning lid instead of the cloth. Grandma said to put it in the window sill for two or three days. The days got away from me...I left it for nearly two weeks. The fateful day arrived when I opened the jar and loaded our vanilla ice cream with the 'syrup'.
Syrup it was not...wine it was. My Dad manfully downed part of the ice cream, declaring it to be pretty good, but I noticed that he didn't go for the rest of the jar. We kids were forbidden...we weren't of age to try the syrup!