So yeah, this week I took my first real day off, but that shouldn't indicate to you that I wasn't busy working on something.
Here's the thing about the world of social services... Even when you've got a day off, you've still got to make it to all your appointments... Now you just have one less day during the course of the week to make it happen. So that kept me busy. As did monthly reports, which were due on Thursday. And once I wrapped up my work week, I had another task to attend to.
I had to bottle my limoncello.
Well, I mean I didn't HAAAAAAVE to, but hey, I just got done working a full week with the additional joy of finishing monthly reports, bottling limoncello meant that it was ready to chill and enjoy! (Which is really what was needed.) So I went to a few different stores looking for bottles that would meet my needs. The first store had the kind of bottles I wanted, but not the right size, and they were grossly overpriced, the second store I went to did not have the kind of bottles I wanted, and the only bottles they did have were not only overpriced, they were as ugly as my friend's baby. The third store, despite advertising itself as a kitchen supply store had nothing but cake making supplies. And then I took a chance on a store that I did not expect to have bottles of any kind... I had to get a couple other things though, so I took the chance. And wouldn't you know it, they did have bottles. They were not exactly what I wanted, and they were a little smaller than I was hoping for, but they were pretty, and cheap enough that I was ok with getting them. So after my purchase was complete, I came home, cleaned out the bottles properly, and I took to filtering and bottling my magnificent citrus beverage.
For those of you who don't know about limoncello, I gather that you have not been reading Marcia's blog. (She also made some recently.) But Marcia and I do things a little differently, so I will go through my steps, (though my post admittedly lacks the handy visual aides.)
(My recipe is also a little different)
(Note: This is the recipe for a double batch! Because it's so good I didn't want to have to wait another three weeks for more! So if you want to TRY it, cut all ingredient amounts in half!)
I took 30 lemons and zested them using a fine cheese grater. (Marcia uses a potato peeler, which is totally effective as well.) I then placed the lemon zest in a class sun tea jar. I then poured two 750ml bottles of vodka over the lemon zest. And then I added my own special twist... I added 6 scored and scraped vanilla beans to the mix. (I added both the scrapings and the bean husks, which were filtered out later.) I then let them all sit in a cool dark cabinet for 3 weeks.
After what felt like an eternity, I determined that I had waited long enough. I heated a pan with 6 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar, making a simple syrup. I set the syrup aside to cool.
Since I use a fine cheese grater instead of a veggie peeler, filtering is ULTRA IMPORTANT.
So while my syrup was cooling, I was filtering my citrus-y mix using a coffee filter and a fine mesh strainer. And once everything was cooled and filtered, I combined them. I gave them a good stir and bottled it up. And I popped two bottles in the freezer. And the remaining bottles went into the cool dark cabinet to await proper chilling and consumption. (For those of you who are familiar with limoncello, you're probably still wondering about those vanilla beans... They really lend a certain something special to the recipe. The vanilla mellows out the beverage. They are kind of pricey and make it a little darker when bottled, but it's totally worth it... And if you can find real vanilla beans, I recommend them. Personally, I haven't tried the recipe using only vanilla extract instead of whole beans... So that's up to you.)
And so then I started drinking.