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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Apple Pie Moonshine

If, for some reason, you've found yourself the proud owner of a quart of moonshine and think to yourself, 'Gee, I wonder if my lawn mower will run on this stuff?' do your tongue a favor and make it into Apple Pie.

I found a basic recipe on the internet, from and updated it a little.

What you'll need:
1 quart or 1 liter - moonshine or grain alcohol.  You can use Everclear, but if it's not at least 190 proof it's not going to be as strong.  Yes, a quart is less than a liter - a liter is 1.056 U.S. quarts.  If this difference bothers you, take a swig - there, now it's even.  A quart jar is probably what you have if you personally know the maker of the moonshine, a liter may be your option if you're buying it commercially, if that's even legal in your state.  It probably isn't, but I'm not going to judge how and where you obtain your moonshine.
1 gallon - apple juice - yes, I said GALLON
1 gallon - apple cider - yes, there's a difference.  If you don't see something labeled as cider in the grocery store (it's usually kept refrigerated) look for Simply Apple over in the orange juice section, if it's cloudy, it's cider.
2 1/2 cups - white sugar (you may want to substitute that last half a cup with brown sugar, I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on it)
24 - cinnamon Jolly Ranchers - umm, unwrapped, of course.
1/4 tsp. - allspice (if you have Apple Pie Spice, that'll work too)
1 tsp - vanilla  (if you want more than that after you taste it, feel free to add more)
at least an 8 qt stock pot, preferably a 10 qt.
9 - 1 quart mason jars

Keep in mind, that you're combining two gallons of stuff together, so you're going to need a minimum of an 8 qt. stock pot.  That 5 qt. crockpot isn't going to work unless you're halving the recipe.  Combine the apple juice, apple cider, sugar, and jolly ranchers together in the pan. Sprinkle your allspice on top, stir, and bring to a boil.  The Jolly Ranchers are going to stick to the bottom, you'll have to do a fancy little stir/scrape maneuver to keep popping them off the bottom until they melt.  Once it boils and you're certain all of the sugar and candy have melted, turn off the stove.  Add your vanilla flavoring, stir it in, and then let the mixture sit for a while to cool off.  This takes a few hours.  Once it's cool, you can add the alcohol.  This can be tricky if you only have an 8 qt pot, because it's already full.  Basically I poured the alcohol into the jars, making it as even as I could, then filled them all the rest of the way with the juice mixture.  You can enjoy it immediately, but some of the harshness of the moonshine is smoothed out if you let it sit in the fridge for a few weeks.  Remember, keep it refrigerated - just because it's in a Mason jar doesn't mean you really 'canned' it, with the amount of sugar in it bacteria will still grow if you leave it out at room temperature.

So go forth my lovelies, and make some apple pie your friends will kill for, just don't let it knock you on your butt - it's sneaky like that.  Tie a ribbon around a jar and give it away for Christmas, your friends will actually want this gift.  Whatever you do, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! Drink and nap, like normal people.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I wrote a book...

If you'll recall, my last post was about Nanowrimo and that I'd finally broken 50,000 words.  Well, in the last two weeks I've taken that bundle of words and disjointed dialogue, shaped it, molded it, and turned it into a book.  Playing Dirt, which can now be purchased as an Ebook on

How did that happen?  Well, mostly with Pinterest.   If you're as old as I am (35) then you may recall The Little, Brown Handbook where you had to search out all of your questions for punctuation and grammar when writing a story or research paper.  This is what we had, there was no Google, and generally my teachers would never answer a question unless you could not find the answer in the Handbook.  It was frustrating.  Now though, there are some fabulous blogs and online articles about proper editing, and I'd like to take a moment and post some links for some of the best ones I found in my search.  No, I can't say that I hit the pinnacle of grammatical perfection, I'm sure there are still many errors, but it is definitely better than it was when I stopped at the end of November. 

First, The Editor's Blog.  As I was doing what I thought was my final edit, I had a vague niggling at the back of my mind about lower case letters starting after dialogue, but I couldn't remember why, or when I would use it.  This saved me, well, it caused me another run through of editing because I was doing it all wrong, but it was very clear and easy to understand.

Second, Writer's Digest: What To Look For When Editing Your Manuscript.  I loved this article, and it really helped me focus on the things I needed to look for.  Especially rule# 5 - The Audible Read.  If it doesn't flow well when you're reading it aloud, then you've screwed something up.  Go fix it.

This, from The Write Life.  Actually, everything from The Write Life, it's an excellent blog and I really suggest reading a few articles before you get started.


And finally, if you're going to publish to Amazon Kindle, you really need to download the free book from Amazon about how to format your work so that it will work on the Kindle platform, Building Your Book For Kindle. 

If you're really bored, or just want to waste more time while you're supposed to be writing something, I've got a whole bunch of tips, funny writing ecards, and other blog links on my 'Writing' Pinterest board.

Go forth, and create!