The long term EDL 630 project is exciting, but I think I have too many passions. I have three passions I thought about for this project. These include: wine, gardening (I’ve been experimenting with this one, so I might already know too much about it), and cooking. Please see the three possible topics below and help me with my decision.
What to do with my Wine Grapes—Learn to Make Wine or Jam?
I have been trying to grow grapes for the past few years with little success until this year. One of my wines broke through the container and went into the ground and totally took off. I’ve been blessed with about 40-50 clusters of Syrah grapes and they are about ready for picking. I’ve always wanted to learn to make wine. Although in terms of this project and what I know about wine, I don’t think the wine would be ready for us to sample like in the case of beer and I don’t know if that would be a requirement for this project. I went to a gardening class and it was suggested I make jam (the grapes do have seeds).
My authentic questions for making wine:
- What materials are needed to start making wine besides the grapes?
- Will I need to source grapes from other growers to make enough wine given that I only have 40-50 clusters? (I have a few wine makers and growers in mind)
- What is the process of making wine?
- Given the time involved, is this a doable project? (For example, the grapes have to ferment for awhile)
- What temperature do I need to keep the grapes while they are fermenting?
- Where do I go to bottle my wine?
- What are the costs involved for this process? (Probably don’t need to buy too many grapes)
- How do I label the wine?
- Can the wine be entered in a home wine maker competition once produced?
- When will the wine be ready to drink?
My authentic questions for making jam:
- If I use the grapes for jam, how difficult and painful will it be to remove the seeds?
- How do I remove the seeds?
- What materials do I need to make jam?
- What are the costs involved?
- How long does it take to make jam?
- Do I have the right type of grapes to make jam?
- How long does the jam keep? Does it need to be preserved?
- How much jam can be made using my 40-50 bunches of grapes?
- How do I store the jam?
- Do I need special jars?
I’ve been gardening awhile, but haven’t always had success. I’ve had success with tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, eggplant, herbs, and more recently butterfly attracting plants and wine grapes. I have not been successful with growing from seeds (too impatient), squash, watermelon, and some of the root vegetables. I thought about trying to grow a pumpkin for Halloween.
My authentic questions for starting a pumpkin-patch:
- Do I have the right soil?
- How much space do I need?
- Is it possible to grow at least one pumpkin by Halloween or Thanksgiving?
- Do I use the same type of fertilizer as with any other garden crop?
- What types of pests do I need to be concerned about?
- How long does it take to grow a pumpkin?
- Can I get a starter plant instead of growing it from seed?
- Would it be better to grow it from seed?
- What resources are available online for growing pumpkins?
- What happens if nothing grows?
I’m extremely passionate about cooking, but I cannot bake. My specialties are Indian, Moroccan, Hungarian, and seafood. We do not really have the right oven for homemade bread, but I think my kitchen will work for homemade pasta, pies, cakes, soufflés, and tortes.
My authentic questions for cooking deserts
- Do I have the cooking tools necessary to make deserts, particularly soufflés?
- Does it have to be an original recipe or can I borrow ideas?
- What is the history behind the recipe?
- Are there particular deserts native to my family background? Should I start with these?
- How much will it cost for baking supplies?
- What kind of time does it involve? Will I be baking a 2 a.m.?
- What is the cultural background for each desert?
- Should I only focus on one kind of desert, for example soufflés or several?
- What is the best way to document my project?
- Is there a way to make healthy deserts that still taste great?