Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#6 Wine

As far back as I can remember we had an open bottle of wine in the buttery. Mom's grandpa Honsamony made wine. Mom's dad made wine. Mom's husband made wine. Obviously wine was a common thing in Amish homes. Some time ago when I was doing Amish research I found an account of an Amish man's distillery in the 1850's  in Goose Bottom Valley close to Walnut Creek Ohio. One night cattle broke in, ate the fermented corn mush, got drunk, jumped the fence and ran away.

I remember helping dad pick Dandelion flowers for his Dandelion wine. I was about 6-7 years old and it was always just the two of us who went picking the yellow flowers. I had Dad's full attention and I would talk, telling him all my big plans. He just grinned and didn't say a thing. One time I almost stepped on a huge little Garter snake. Dad squished its head with his heel and that was the end. When we returned home I raved about this huge little snake and then discreetly I overheard Mom ask Dad about this snake. Dad just quietly whispered to Mom, "It wasn't a big snake." That was the end of my big snake story. 

We never saw Dad drink the wine he made. So I think he drank it after we children were in bed. I remember Mom drinking fermented prune juice. She said it makes her feel good, so I tried drinking it too but didn't get past the first sip. I kept wondering how in the world something that sour could make Mom feel good. After years of pondering Mom's prune juice I finally figured out why it made her feel good. It was not like Mom drank fermented prune juice every day but only when she made stewed prunes for the family. Wine making still runs in the family to the fifth generation.     

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