Pages

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lent 37-Good Friday 2014


Jesus Dies on a cross between two common criminals (Parallel accounts can be found in Mt 27:32-56;  Mk 15:23-39; Lk 23:33-46 ; Jn 19:17-37)   Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com

Joseph of Arimathaea and others remove Jesus from the cross and lay Him to rest in a a new tomb (Parallel accounts can be found in Mt 27: 57-61;  Mk 15: 42-47; Lk 23:50-56 ; Jn 19: 38-42) Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com

Note I purchased these images and others by French artist Gustave Dore from Dreamstime.com for use in my 2014 series of Lenten Blog posts, The images are copyrighted by © Nicku | Dreamstime.com.  Quoting from the Dreamstime.com site, the images are from "The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments books collection published in 1885, Stuttgart-Germany. Drawings by Gustave Dore".  Most copyrighted materials are valid for the life of the author + 50 to 70 years depending on the country.  Since Dore lived from 1832-1883, seventy years beyond 1883 was 1953. Thus the copyright has expired for this 1885 publication and entered "public domain".  "Nicku" has scanned (or photographed etc.) the images and submitted them to Dreamstime.com for sale as digital media.   The images were originally black and white but I have used editing software to enhanced the images and add the colored borders.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lent 36-Holy Thursday 2014


Jesus Celebrates His last Passover supper with His apostles.  Judas sits to Jesus' left (Parallel accounts are found in Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; Lk  22: 7-38, Jn 13-17) Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com
Jesus prays alone in the Garden of Gethsemane as Peter, James and John sleep nearby (Parallel accounts are found in Mt 26:36-46;  Mk 14:32-42; Lk 22:39-46) Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com
Before soldiers arrest Jesus, Judas betrays Him with a kiss. (parallel accounts are found in Mt 26: 47-56; Mk 14:43-52;  Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:1-11) Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com

Note I purchased these images and others by French artist Gustave Dore from Dreamstime.com for use in my 2014 series of Lenten Blog posts, The images are copyrighted by © Nicku | Dreamstime.com.  Quoting from the Dreamstime.com site, the images are from "The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments books collection published in 1885, Stuttgart-Germany. Drawings by Gustave Dore".  Most copyrighted materials are valid for the life of the author + 50 to 70 years depending on the country.  Since Dore lived from 1832-1883, seventy years beyond 1883 was 1953. Thus the copyright has expired for this 1885 publication and entered "public domain".  "Nicku" has scanned (or photographed etc.) the images and submitted them to Dreamstime.com for sale as digital media.   The images were originally black and white but I have used editing software to enhanced the images and add the colored borders.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lent 35-Palm Sunday 2014



Jesus makes a triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey (Parallel accounts found in Mt 21:1-9; Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19: 28-38; Jn 12: 12-19)  Image © Nicku | Dreamstime.com

Note I purchased this image and others by French artist Gustave Dore from Dreamstime.com for use in my 2014 series of Lenten Blog posts, The images are copyrighted by © Nicku | Dreamstime.com.  Quoting from the Dreamstime.com site, the images are from "The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments books collection published in 1885, Stuttgart-Germany. Drawings by Gustave Dore".  Most copyrighted materials are valid for the life of the author + 50 to 70 years depending on the country.  Since Dore lived from 1832-1883, seventy years beyond 1883 was 1953. Thus the copyright has expired for this 1885 publication and entered "public domain".  "Nicku" has scanned (or photographed etc.) the images and submitted them to Dreamstime.com for sale as digital media.   The images were originally black and white but I have used editing software to enhanced the images and add the colored borders.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wine: Rhubarb, Batch 006


Spring is here and it's time for Humble Blogger to begin a batch of wine again so that it can clear and age over the busy summer months and be bottled in the Fall.  This time I'm making 6 gallons (23 liters) of rhubarb wine Batch 006.   I began making Batch 001 rhubarb wine in May of 1968, some 46 years ago!  I'm still trying to get a decent rhubarb wine.  This may be it.  In the photos below, I'm showing the process only and not the recipe to avoid getting over complicated.   I'll add photos to this post as the wine progresses.

15 pounds of rhubarb I purchased in June 2013 at a Farmer's Market in Maplewood, Minnesota (a northern suburb of  St. Paul, MN)   The rhubarb was grown in Afton, MN

Journal notes from my Batch 001 rhubarb wine started May 29, 1968 and this page shows extraction of juice on June 1, 1968

15 pounds of rhubarb (minus leaves) cut into 1 inch pieces, ready to be washed

15 pounds of rhubarb placed in "Hefty" Zip Lock Bags (3 pounds to a bag) and frozen for 9 months from June 2013 to March 2014.

15 pounds of frozen rhubarb placed inside a food-grade plastic pail for juice extraction.

I added 5 pounds of corn sugar (dextrose a.k.a.glucose) and 1 gallon of bottled Chippewa Spring Water (containing 50 ppm of sulfur dioxide from potassium metabisulfite and 3 grams of LD Carlson Pectic Enzyme powder) to the 15 pounds of frozen rhubarb to extract the juice.  [Note that I usually just use table sugar for juice extraction,  which is a disaccharide of glucose and the sweeter fructose.  Yeast must convert sugar to the monosaccharides glucose and fructose before fermentation can start.  To do so, the yeast excrete an enzyme called "invertase" and the splitting process happens extracellular to the yeast, whereas conversion of the monosaccharides to ethanol and carbon dioxide happens inside the yeast (intracellular ). Grapes and other fruits naturally have glucose and fructose in their juice.  I thought that by using some dextrose (glucose) in this wine I would gain a head start for the "must" to begin fermenting]

2 days later, rhubarb pulp and extracted liquid is further crushed using Humble Blogger's "Ye Old Grape Stomper"  made from an unfinished table leg from Home Depot.  The crushing continued for an hour.

A stainless strainer resting on top of the pulp and juice made an easy task of scooping the juice with a glass measuring cup into an empty plastic gallon jug.

Two gallons were extracted immediately and another one gallon and 2/3 of a gallon were obtained by adding a gallon of the Chippewa Spring Water to the pulp, extracting it as shown above, then by placing the pulp into a "cheese cloth" nylon bag and squeezing the juice from the bag.  I filled the container on the right with Chippewa Spring Water to get a full gallon and to make the total "juice" volume equal to four gallons. 

Out of 15 pounds of rhubarb, 3 lb. 13 oz. of pulp remained.  I dumped this into the trash, but it would be better served by going into a compost pile somewhere if only the ground was not still frozen!

I dumped the 4 gallons of rhubarb juice and 2 gallons of Chippewa Spring Water into my 9 gallon primary fermenter to make a 6 gallon Batch 006 of wine.  (the fermenter is described elsewhere in this blog). Other ingredients included 5 more pounds of dextrose and 6 pounds of sugar which my specific gravity measurements called for to get a final alcohol content of 13% (by volume).  Bentonite (to help clarify the wine), more pectic enzyme (to help remove pectin cloudiness), yeast nutrient (to feed the hungry yeasts), yeast energizer (to keep the yeasts happy) and  tannin (for astringency) and finally, dry Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast shown pitched on top of the juice in this photo.  

I screwed the Fermenter top closed at 3:50 pm on Wednesday 3/26/14. A clear plastic air-lock is fitted on top of the cover.  It extends into the fermenter via a rubber stopper through a hole.  I added 10 ml of a 50% water-50% glycerin and a bit of potassium metabisulfite solution to it.  As the yeast consumes the sugar, ethanol and carbon dioxide are generated.  The carbon dioxide escapes through the airlock which is connected to a long PVC tubing which goes through a hole in the wall, across the top of the garage ceiling and out the front of the garage to minimize odors inside the house.  A digital thermometer is attached to the upper left of the fermenter to monitor temperature via a probe taped to the lower right side of the fermenter. A plastic draining faucet extends from the lower right of the tank and is located above the floor of the tank where the "lees" (sediment) collect during fermentation.  It greatly simplifies the process of  "racking" the newly fermented wine into a glass carboy for secondary fermentation. No lifting is necessary. Finally, the tank sits on a dark blue plastic piece containing heating coils to every-so-slightly boost the temperature of the "must" inside if needed.


Video of start of fermentation on Thursday 3/27/14, one day after pitching the yeast.  I'll add updates to this Blog post as the rhubarb wine progresses to bottling. [Note: It's hard for me to grasp (because I don't think of gasses as weighing too much) that out of the 16 pounds of sugar added, about 8 pounds of carbon dioxide will be evolved if the fermentation goes to completion!  This is because each  molecule of monosaccharide produces 1 molecule of ethanol (MW 46 g/mol) and 1 molecule of carbon dioxide (MW 44 g/mol)].   

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014


A Carolina Chickadee (ignoring snow covered ground) checks out a possible nesting house in Humble Blogger's (and loving wife Rose's) front flower garden.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent 34 - Ash Wednesday 2014


Ash Wednesday 2014
Today is the start of Lent 2014. This photo arrangement shows Humble Blogger's wooden cross from the Crosier Order (acquired in 1973). The cross is 2" long from top to bottom, about 1" wide and is meant to be worn around the neck. The cross sits atop burnt Palm leaves from Palm Sunday 2013 all on top of a flat piece of cedar. Ashes like these are applied to Catholic's foreheads today to signify that someday we will return to the dirt of the ground from which we were taken. "For you are dust and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19).  Other Christian denominations also observe Ash Wednesday. 

Joel 2:12-14*

12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping and mourning.

13 Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the Lord, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.

14 Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing.
Offerings and libations
for the Lord, your God.

*Verses from today's Ash Wednesday Mass readings, are quoted from a ragged "The New American Bible" (St. Joseph Edition), Catholic Book Publishing Co, New York, © 1970.  Humble Bloggers Mother owned and read this bible often.  She died August 19, 2004 at the age of 86. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

Minnesota Snow Storm 2014

Historic cold and snowfall this year.  We had another storm Thursday 2/20/14 which began in the morning and early afternoon with rain changing to snow in the evening.  Photos below were snapped Friday 2/21/14 near Humble Bloggers home in White Bear Lake, MN.   The last photo shows depth of snow along our front sidewalk and remains of a long forgotten snowman waiting for the Spring melt!