Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ume, or Japanese plums, that are not ripe yet. You can use them to make plum wine, which I did.

Bottle of fruit liquor that you use to make the wine. And yes, that says 35%!

You can make several different kinds of wine according to the carton.

The last one shows a picture of garlic. Garlic wine? Hmmm. Not sure about that.

Bag of rock sugar

Ume and sugar assembled in layers in jar

Addition of the liquor. Now it must sit for at least three months.

Hello. How is everyone? Good, I hope. We're having another rainy day here in Japan, but I can't complain too much because it's been nice most of the week. On Tuesday, I visited Seiko and spent a fun day with her. While I was there, our friend Makiko called and said that she had a bunch of ume, or Japanese plums, that we could have from the tree in her yard. We hopped in Seiko's car and drove to her house, and when we got there, Makiko showed me her bottles of ume wine that she has made. She gave me some to try and it was awesome! Both her and Seiko said that I should try to make it too, and since I'm in Japan, I should do what the Japanese do, right? Right. They gave me the instructions on how to make it and told me what I needed to buy, and Makiko gave me a big bag of ume. By the way, the ume aren't ripe this time of year but you have to use unripe ume to make the wine.

The next day, I walked to the grocery store and bought my supplies, which consisted of a large glass jar with a lid, a bag of rock sugar, and a carton of fruit liquor that doesn't have much flavor until you add your own fruit and sugar. I made the cashier at the grocery store laugh pretty good. I'm sure she doesn't see Americans buying the supplies to make Japanese plum wine every day. Now that I made the stuff, we have to wait for at least three months to drink it. The longer it sits the better. Apparently Makiko has one jar that is seven years old!


Cheryl said...

mmmmm...the "wine" looks yummy...or is it ume? :) sounds more like a liquor -- Mom does the same thing with Italian plums, sugar and vodka.

Happy Anniversary too! Hard to believe its been a year. Its fun to read of your adventures, and see you doing fun things for YOU! Kurt and the kids send their congrats too. We think of you often.


Ellen said...

Thanks, Cheryl! And you're right, I think it is more like a liqueur, but Seiko and Makiko kept calling it plum wine, so I used the same term.

jennifer blackburn said...

Wow! You are certainly finding a lot of ways to keep yourself entertained. Think of all the interesting and strange skills/interests you have developed that you can bring back to the U.S. to amuse and impress your friends!