It really is a wonderful life.

By Jeff Zeitler on Friday, December 22nd, 2023

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It’s not always a wonderful life

And then.  Sometimes it is.

We were going to make a chicken pot pie.  Kid #1 said we never make anything new for dinner- we just recycle the same old recipes each week.  She was right, of course.  I spend a lot of time innovating at the winery, but in the kitchen- well- Gita and I both have a few tried and true recipes we make on a regular basis and that’s about it.

So, I suggested making chicken pot pie, after seeing a funny bumper sticker about said recipe while driving the kids back from school, thinking both would say no.  But they loved the idea, and I had to admit, I’ve never made a chicken pot pie and thought it would be fun to make something new. It was a Monday and I didn’t have to run the taproom.  So, I planned to make that for dinner.

We had the chicken.  It was left over from a rotisserie chicken we had eaten a few weeks before, and which I’d picked clean and frozen all the uneaten parts (then made soup from the bones!)  Pretty good meat, and we had some celery, some brussels sprouts, a few potatoes and carrots in the fridge- but no pie shells.

I’ve made a pie shell before and it’s a lot of work, so I told the kids that I was going to go to the store and since this was partly their idea, I told them they had to walk with me.  Neither kid was very excited about the idea with homework and all, but they agreed to come along with me anyway.  We bundled up and started walking the five or six blocks to the smallish grocery store within walking distance.

It was early evening, or maybe late afternoon.  The sun is setting around 4:30 now, so either way, it was already dark.  A few random snowflakes were falling, making little ice prickles on our faces and swirling around the streetlights.

We walked past houses with lights on the trees, past a man playing a tuba on the street, past the smell of a wood fire somewhere in the distance.

And while we walked, we talked.  I heard about what was going in in school, whose friends were going out with who, what video games kids are into right now, and random thoughts about what we ought to do during winter break.

And while we half dreamed about going on a beach vacation that we can’t really afford, I was struck by how nice it was just to be here, and walking with the two young people I enjoy being with the most.  How happy I was to just be here now, in this place, walking to the store with two great kids.

Somebody once said (I honestly don’t remember who) that happiness is not a place or a thing, it’s a journey.  And that walk to the store to get a pie shell became a little piece of happiness, at least for me, in that particular moment.

I hope you too can happen across a moment of sudden happiness and contentment this season.  There’s a lot of beauty and goodness in the world that doesn’t call out to be noticed.  I hope a little bit of it finds you.


OK. So, newsletter, yes.

Dandelion wine still here.  We have dandelion wine in stock, unlike previous years when we’ve run out of it by mid-fall.  It’s pricey, but at least we have it!

Likewise, our plum wine is still in stock, and two or three bottles of O Tannin Bomb remain.  Cran-orange melomel is down to a couple of bottles as well.  So your best bet to catch our seasonal specials will be Thursday.

We have lots of Winter Spice though!  And all the other normal things.  Blackcurrrant cider, pear cider, even piquette blanc and our THC seltzer, Herban haze.

Coming soon: Blackcurrant wine returns.  Also rhubarb wine.  Maybe by New Year’s Eve?  We’ll see.

And in upcoming trivia:

December 21: Friends

December 28: Harry Potter

Get your tickets in advance on Eventbrite or buy them at the door.  From now on, if you buy via Eventbrite, you get 25% off your first drink, if at the door, you get 50% off.  Yes, we are starting to wean ourselves off of this ticketing service, so watch this newsletter for future ticket changes.  Coming sorta soon.

Music nights continue to be popular:

December 22: 7 PM RJ Vocal

December 29: 7 PM Phil and Bill

December 31: 3 PM  Irish session musicians  (open jam session)

January 5: 7 PM John Kurtis Dehn

Come play trivia on a Thursday or see some music (for free!) on a Friday.  The taproom is as festive as it’s ever been, so we hope you’ll come and add a bit of your own festiveness to it!


Jeff and Gita Z.