I’m not much a of a planner. There are no to-do lists in my life. There are no schedules. There is no time management. There is only triage.
Anything that doesn’t absolutely, positively, have to happen today gets the put-off. The extent to which this is a problem is in direct proportion to the number of things that absolutely, positively, have to happen today. In the winter, when very little has to happen today, I’d go so far as to argue that triage is the best system going. In the spring, though, when each today has a significant set of demands, it can most definitely be a problem.
Today, the problem is Carlo Rossi Chablis.
You see, it’s dandelion wine season. This is the third year we’ve made it, and the third year we’ve harvested our dandelions from one particular field at Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Sanctuary. This is the third year we’ll be following Euell Gibbons’ recipe. This is the third year we’ll be needing two one-gallon glass jugs with screw tops.
The first year, we discovered that, while the jugs themselves are cheap, the shipping is expensive. Since Jugs R Us (Google that at your peril) doesn’t yet have an outlet on Cape Cod, we would have had to pay about $30. for four of them.
Alternatively, we could buy them for $12.99 each, full of Carlo Rossi Chablis. It wasn’t a hard decision. That first year, we made it just as we started the wine-making process. Because the dandelions first have to steep for three days, and then the wine needs to ferment for a week, we had ten days before we needed the jugs to be empty.
The science of oenology has come a long way in the last decade or two, and cheap wine isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. This is something I’ve been grateful for, as our seven-bottle-a-week habit (minus beer nights) precludes the regular consumption of expensive wine. But never have I been as grateful as when Kevin and I were faced with the prospect of downing two gallons of Carlo Rossi Chablis in a week and a half.
You’d think we would have learned our lesson that first go-round. The dandelions come up at the same time every year. We always know we’ll need two one-gallon glass jugs in the middle of May. We could get one gallon in, say, January, and another two months later. We could plan to make wine-intensive stews and soups to use up some of it. We could even branch out and try Carlo Rossi Burgundy.
But no. Last year, and then again this year, the first week in May finds us buying two gallons of Carlo Rossi Chablis, and trying to convince ourselves it’s really not that bad.
And you know, it really isn’t. It’s characterless, sure, but inoffensive. You could do worse.
Still, if any of you get a dinner invitation from us this week, consider this fair warning. I’ll understand if you’re busy.