Yup, my apartment is finally just about cool enough to consider boiling wort on the stove for over an hour. This is a one gallon batch of cream ale, easy brew and cleanup, to get back in the brewing habit again. My dad is drying the hops he grew this summer for us to use in experimental brews, but our biggest challenge is basic temperature control during the initial fermentation. This makes your beer taste weird. As a new brewer I am amazed that I can make anything marginally drinkable in a bucket in my living room, however, my human cohabitant feels we could do better.
I watched several episodes of Wartime Farm while we boiled, feeling inspired by the hardships of the British archaeologists recreating the WWII homefront hardships. I think this nostalgia for selfsufficient work is many layered for all viewers. Many of the tools, tractors, and tasks are familiar to me from some part of my eighties childhood in a New England farm town. So I watch longing to be canning with my mother in our kitchen, dogs staring in through the screen door. I also think of my grandmother Jean, who found a real purpose and escape from a difficult childhood by signing up for the Army in Britain as a 16 year old. The work and adventure ended up taking her around the world and setting a course for her children and grandchildren that she never could have predicted.
And I am planning my next trip to northern England, where my ancestors tended hogs.