Tuesday 5 May 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.*** - Whiskerine and Whithersoever

7 weeks in to lock-down now surprisingly it doesn't feel 'that' long, the fact I've not been fishing in that time hasn't quite hit home yet I feel. I'd have probably amassed another 20 odd sessions up till now and banked quite a few more canal Zander. 

Ones hair bedraggled, stubble now beyond the itch. 

Sill we've still be getting out locally for that water fix. A secret weeded up pool discovered after a search on Google Earth with fishing platforms in situ, to be fair apart from tadpoles nothing topped, no fish movement. 

We'd also explored a couple of streams too which were adjacent to the footpath, but sadly they looked entirely fishless, the stretch going from a static foot deep to more or less dried up. 

Now there is no denying I like a drink or two and in these times when I'm working from home I could easily slip and find myself falling down that slippery slope.

I've not got to drive in the morning, heck I could even have a lie in, put I've resisted and kept off it during the week and got back on it the weekend. 

As someone who lived in South Africa for two and a half years as a kid I remember vividly how inventive the population were in even more surreal apartheid times ( I'll have to try and find some of the fishing pictures). 

So four weeks into lockdown and without a rotisserie chicken in sight, South Africans are reconnecting with their kitchens.

But it’s not demand for humble ingredients such as potatoes, garlic or onions that is rising exponentially, but rather pineapples.

This is probably not because homebound South Africans have a hankering for a Southeast Asian-inspired stir-fry or even a (deeply underrated) Hawaiian pizza. Rather, the right combination of pineapple, sugar and yeast can result in an alcoholic brew with a kick something consumers are craving amid prohibition.

With the ban on alcohol forcing South Africans to get creative, some savvy South Africans noticed that a Spar outlet had budged them towards a simple solution that many have been trying at home during the prohibition-style period, pineapple beer you can brew at home. 

Having arranged a variety of essential ingredients in an eye-catching display, with yeast, sugar and pineapples placed in a spiralling tower at the entrance to one of their stores, the major retailer gave a nod and a wink to South Africa’s thirsty.

On the the first day of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown in March, the Johannesburg fresh produce market sold 10,000 pineapples or so. 

On April 6 and 7th a few days ahead of the Easter weekend, 60,000 pineapples were sold, soon after than, up to 90,000.

With liquor stores gated shut and the transportation of alcohol increasingly prohibited, South Africans have been having a tough time getting their hands on the stuff.

However, there is nothing stopping you from brewing your own beer at home.

Pineapple beer brewing is actually an incredibly rewarding process , the fruit contains a minimal number of kilojoules and is utterly packed with vitamins, making it a fairly guilt-free beverage to get a little but on with. 

The tropical fruit also contains enzymes, which assist in breaking down proteins. In this way, pineapples contribute to digestion. Pineapples also relieve arthritis, boost your immune system and build stronger bones.

Of course, in order to ensure that the brew ferments, you’ll need to add a ton of sugar, so perhaps don’t go around telling everyone that you’ve discovered the solution to the beer gut.

So if it ever happened here, give this a go

The recipe is dead dimple, but it might take a bit of patience as you wait for the concoction to ferment. The simple ingredients, as neatly (and conspicuously) advertised by Spar, are pineapples, sugar and yeast, as well as water. The yeast is actually not essential, although adding it will speed up the fermentation process.

In order to get the process going, simply follow these instructions. Peel all three pineapples and cut them up. Do not throw away the peels. Cut the peels into small pieces and combine with the pineapple pieces. Place the pineapple pieces and peel into a 9litre bucket. 

Add the sugar.,fill the bucket to the top with water, then add the yeast ans use a muslin cloth to cover the top. Let it stand for about two days until you can see froth.

It’s recommended that you don’t let the concoction sit for longer than two days, and you can speed up the fermentation by adding more sugar to the batch. 

And voila, you have a Bheki Cele-proof solution to your dry month.

Anyway back to the fishing apart from doing my bailiff duties on the Zander swim stretch I've been feeding and chucking a fisherman and non-member off, I've a wormey to get started. After losing an unstoppable fish during the storms and floods I want to fish with worms more come the new river season.

 Sam will turn 9 Saturday, so I've his cabin bed to build. At least I've something to keep me from straying off that path I'm trying my hardest to stay on, still music consumed in large quantities is keeping me sane thus far. 

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