Thursday 23 April 2020

Lockdown libations

Now that it looks like we won't be able to go to France this summer, our rapidly reducing stock of wine is starting to be a bit of a concern.  Obviously we can buy wine in Britain, but it's so much more expensive!  When you're used to paying only €2 a bottle for very nice wine, £5 or £6 for the same stuff is a bit harsh.  So, in the interests of economy, I have been conducting a rigorous study of currently available beverages.

All of the wines tested were delivered to my door with our essential groceries, from a major supermarket chain; un-named, but well-known for rolling back prices.

The cheapest (apart from Lambrini, which I will drink if all else fails) was 'Crisp Fresh White' at £3.49 a bottle.

Not unpleasant, but completely tasteless.  Fine with lemonade, but overall far too easy to drink quickly, without noticing what you're doing.  Handy screw-top bottle, as were all 3 wines tested, although, since it goes down so fast, you probably won't need to close the bottle.

Next was the 'Zesty & Vibrant' at £3.69.

Definitely worth the extra 20p, could actually taste it.  Sadly, there was a slightly bitter underlying flavour, but this mellowed after being open for 24 hours.  Not bad, would drink it again.

Moving into the big league, we have 'Sauvignon Blanc' (oh my goodness, a named grape!) at £3.89.

This was actually rather good.  Perhaps only when compared with the previous two wines, but I have ordered more of this one, and would buy it again even after the current difficulties.  To be fair, I've ordered more of the 'Zesty & Vibrant' as well, since we're currently restricted to only 3 of anything, and you have to get up at 2am to book a delivery slot. Which, after conducting this research, I feel unable to do.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Drying tonight

This coat has been in my family for more than 20 years; I wear it every winter and I still love it.  But, rather like me, it's a bit tired and grubby now.  Yes, of course I've had it dry-cleaned - many times - but that doesn't seem to be as effective lately as it used to be.  I really don't want to part with it, so I thought, as a last resort, I'd give it a wash.  What have I got to lose?

I've been reading about fabric stripping, which apparently removes the dirt of ages from your garments, and involves very little actual effort.  Sounds good to me.  So, what you do is fill a bath with hot water, add washing powder, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, and soak the clothes in it for a few hours.  There were some very encouraging pictures online of people's dirty water and clean clothes, but no instructions about how much of each substance is needed.  So I just poured in what I had and gave it a good stir with a wooden spoon.  {Must remember to wash the spoon later, or I'll end up with lavender and vinegar flavoured self-raising porridge in the morning.}

It worked!....well, the water was filthy, so I suppose the coat must be cleaner than it was, but as it's still wet it's hard to tell.  It was at this point that I realised that I'd have to get it dry somehow.

Obviously I didn't want to wring it out, as that would get it all creased and I'd have to iron it.  {I do irony, not ironing.  If clothes need ironing, I don't buy them in the first place.}  It's not a large coat, but it was saturated with water and very heavy.  My first thought was to put it on a hanger and let it drip-dry, but I realised {thankfully before trying it} that the shower curtain rail probably wouldn't be strong enough to take the weight.  I don't have a tumble drier, and I reasoned that putting my beloved coat in the spin drier might not do it a lot of good - and I'd probably still need to iron it.  Also, I'd have to carry it downstairs dripping wet, and that didn't seem like a good idea either.  I do have a large clothes horse that I could have draped it on, but the bars on it tend to leave creases on things, and the floor would get all wet.

"THEY" do say you should dry woollen garments flat.  What on, for goodness' sake??  And where?  I have many woollen garments, even after conquering the Great Knitwear Mountain of 2018.

Now, I wash my jumpers after 2 or 3 wearings, so on average, in the colder months {which, let's face it, is most of the year} I'm washing maybe 4 or 5 of them every week.  More, if I wear two at a time.  I've never dried any of them flat - The only flat surface in my house that's large enough to lay clothes on, apart from the floor, is my kitchen table - and that's covered with important scraps of paper that I can't move.  Wait a minute, though.... I'm sure I've seen something else I could use......

Sometimes I just amaze myself with my genius.  I knew the ironing board would come in useful one day.