Rachel's Table

Spring Cleaning and Strawberry Wine Granita

We are a few weeks into Spring, and Winter is just leaving us. For some reason, I can’t pry Winter’s icy cold fingers from my psyche. But we enjoyed a few sunny, but chilly days this weekend–perfect spring cleaning weather. I laced up my cleaning shoes and got to work.

I started on the car first. I don’t think it’s been cleaned since last summer, because the amount of sand I dislodged from the front seat could have built a sizable sand castle.

Next up was my closet. I say “my” closet, but really, I share it with Mr. Rache. It’s not very big, so I keep my summer and spring things in two other closets–that’s THREE closets in total. I thought this amount of clothing was out of hand, so I bagged up the items I haven’t worn in over a year to donate to one of our local clothing banks. Twelve bags later, my closet was pristine. Yes, twelve bags. I was ashamed and proud at the same time.

The next item on my spring cleaning agenda was the garage. With a firm resolve I opened the door, gazed inside, lost my resolve and slammed the door shut.

Instead, I went through my piles and piles of books. Some of them reside neatly on the living room bookshelf, while others are mounded on my night stand, and even more are placed haphazardly on the floor of my office. Because I’ve recently discovered 2nd and Charles, a used bookstore that takes my old books and gives me credit toward new books, I knew I needed to purge, lest I be overrun.

Sorting books is exhausting work. So is spring cleaning. That’s why I treated myself to some Strawberry Wine Granita.  I can’t wait to make this with fresh strawberries, which should make an appearance in my neck of the woods soon.

Strawberry Wine Granita

2 1/4 cups strawberry wine (I used the rest of a local bottle the lovely Misty from Misty’s Laws gifted me. Thanks, Misty!)

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of  1 lemon

Zest of  1 lemon

Chill a 9 x 13 pan for while you get the ingredients together. Mix all ingredients together in the pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Chill overnight, covered.

This is the lazy way. If you want to do it the non-lazy way, you can fluff the mixture with a fork every 30 to 60 minutes.

This is what fork fluffing looks like

This is what fork fluffing looks like

This method will give you a fluffier granita with smaller ice crystals. I just let mine go overnight and enjoyed the end result just as much.

So tell me, do you “spring clean”? Do you die a little inside whenever you let go of a book? How often do you clean out YOUR closet?

The end result is bright, light, and tart - like a snow cone for grownups.

Bright, light, and tart – like a snow cone for grownups.

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28 comments

  1. Well, if I had some strawberry granita waiting for me, I’d clean out my closet more often. I just went through my closet and the kids’ closet and came away with several bags to donate. So now I have all my summer clothes ready to wear. Too bad I woke up to ice on the car windshield this morning.

  2. Um, you’re welcome, but . . . why wasn’t I invited for the Granita???? Pfft.

    I wait until books are piled everywhere, and then just scoop them all up and take them to a local bookstore to trade in for credit as well. Then I start all over again with the piling. It’s about a twice yearly pilgrimage. I really need to go through my closet. Remember the post way back about my closet breaking and collapsing from the weight of all the clothes? Yeah, still like that and I haven’t gotten rid of anything. So pathetic. That needs doing, pronto. You may have just inspired me!

    • It’s hard for me to get rid of books! I always think, “Oh, I’ll read that again.” Or, “I’ll let so and so borrow that one.” I’ve decided these two things never happen and I need to get rid of a few every time I buy a few. This bookstore makes it easy because it is HUGE. They have a great selection and even rows and rows of cookbooks!

      I would love to have inspired you to fix your closet, MIsty! It really didn’t take me as long as I thought and now it feels great having neat rows of clothes instead of jumbled up hangers. Do it while drinking champagne – then it will feel like a celebration.

  3. My closet is kind of an ongoing project. It’s really not that bad because it’s small and we have to rotate the off-season stuff up to the attic. Truly, CC’s collection of clothes he doesn’t wear is way bigger than mine. The kids’ closets are another story. I hate doing them. They hate doing them. I don’t even want to go into their rooms.

  4. I made sure to have some fun this weekend–foraged for dandelions and violets–but the rest was spent cleaning our windows. I really love how bright our apartment is, up until the moment I remember I need to clean it all. This is my second spring in this apartment and I don’t think anyone prior ever cleaned the windows. I swear I’m still wiping off dirt from 1920 something!

    • Nothing better than foraging! I scored a few blackberries last summer by foraging the woods near my house.

      Good luck with the window cleaning! Just imagine how much brighter (and dirtier. Ha.) everything will look when all that 1920 dust is off!

  5. Loved this! Spring cleaning is like a renewal for me each year! On a nother note, thank u for ur blog, just in general. Reading this each time u post something is a little escape into my own healthy, girly moment of time.

    Kerri Smith

  6. Just did some spring cleaning, too, because we put our house on the market. It is exhausting, but you do get a great sense of accomplishment.

    Someone gave me a bottle of homemade blueberry wine a while ago and the thought of drinking has triggered the gag reflex. But I kept it around to be nice… Thinking this Granita recipe’s going to do the trick!

    • Oh man, putting a house on the market is usually a ton of work. Good luck!

      I enjoyed some (dry) blueberry wine this summer. Not dry enough and perfect for a granita. You should definitely try it! Let me know how it turns out.

  7. I just moved to a new house and have used the ‘opportunity’ to spring clean. Letting go is hard … and the dumb part is that I ‘let go’ of all sorts of things and, now, while unpacking, I am still letting go. How dumb is it to move stuff and then decide to get rid of it?? Ugh.

  8. I like to get rid of stuff all the time. I try to keep down to only the most essential of items. My wife and kids love collecting stuff, toys and clothes in particular and need to do a lot more “spring cleaning”, but I still help sometimes.

  9. Good for you for cleaning out the closets and sorting books! Few things are as soul satisfying as those deep cleaning sessions. The Granita sounds great. I probably sound like an idiot, but I didn’t think wine would freeze.

    • It doesn’t quite freeze all the way but instead gets all slushy (and what I describe as “fluffy” if you run a fork over it every hour). Most of the time I’m too lazy to make this and just drink it straight from the bottle.

  10. I believe I was chatting with you on Facebook the last time you were enjoying granitas, and quite frankly, now you’re just rubbing it in my face(book).

    12 bags?! And I thought your haikus impressed me…

    I have a little bit of the Spring cleaning bug (not enough, though) – definitely have more energy when it’s not dark when I get home from work! My favorite thing, though, is being able to walk the dog in daylight and relative warmth.

    • Evening walks are the best! Especially when granita waits for you at home. Seriously this stuff is good. Such a treat.

      Twelve bags of clothing
      Gone, never to be seen again
      Let’s head to the mall

  11. You had me at Srawberry wine. I must discover if this is available in Australia.
    I need to spring clean my closet as well, it’s out of hand! I’m pretty certain I could at least match your 12 bags if I’m completely brutal.

    • I didn’t even know I had so many pieces of clothing but when the pieces are spread out over three closets one loses track. I was tough on myself and gave away some really nice things.

      A sweetish white wine with real strawberries would work well here too if you can’t find strawberry wine.

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