Friday, September 23, 2011

putting up

A little over a year ago I wrote my husband a love note that said I wanted to grow an arbor of concord grapes.  It was a weak attempt at being poetic but we used to live in a little old house in Connecticut that had grapes growing abundantly along the back of our property and we loved them.  I have always missed the grapes.

When we moved here I didn’t notice the grapevines at first.  They are all tangled amongst the weeds and trees, climbing way up high.  Now they are ripe and their sweet pungent scent fills the air - it is the most wonderful smell.

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I picked enough to make a couple batches of grape jam.  My fingers are stained purple…though making jam is a wee bit time consuming (you have to pop the skin off each grape) it is very worth it.

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I’m hoping to muster the energy this weekend to finish picking  and make grape juice. Hopefully I can round up some helpers to pick grapes in the Tom Sawyer-whitewash-the-fence-fashion. 

 

The recipes I use are from the Ball Blue Book’s Guide to Preserving.  It looks like a magazine (not the actual large book), I bought it at the local farm store.  They also have a website here.  I highly recommend using the Ball recipes as it’s important to put up food properly and their company does a great job at spelling out food safety while making you excited to can. And seriously I get excited to can! It makes me happy to have food reserves in the basement, both because it means less grocery shopping (ugh to that, I really don’t like doing it) and because it’s healthier than store bought stuff.

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I store my jars in the basement which is very brave of me as it creeps me out to go down there.

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It feels like fall is right on the edge, our yard has a few scattered leaves and there are pumpkins and mums at every roadside stand.  Is it fall where you are?

6 comments:

Andi said...

It was 49 when I woke up this morning, but is supposed to warm to abut 83. However, with the relentless heat we had this summer, it sure feels like fall. I am trying to do some light housework (darn hurt back) and washing windows in my living room only (promised myself to stop there) and cleaning light fixtures so I can put up fall decorations. I did not put up one single thing this year, as it was to dry for anything to produce.

On the up side I found a great recipe for home made salsa that uses all canned ingredients except the onion! And it is fabulous!

Have fun with the grapes. Does a colander not work for skinning them?

Prairie Rose said...

Wow! that IS an impressively creepy but very cool basement!
What a delightful surprise the grapes are!
Yes, it certainly is autumn here, which the only signs we have is dust everywhere and harvest trucks flying around and the absence of my husband (I am married,right....???)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, that sounds so good! No, it's 90 degrees here in Florida..but you know I love it! Hubby downloaded Oliver W. to our Nook and now his is reading it! He's on page 100 or so and loving it already! ♥ Happy Fall! ♥

Leslie said...

wow~ that is amazing!!! can you ship them, I will buy one.
It has been hot and rainy here today.. yuck!
I am loving your old basement!

Dawn said...

When I made Grape jelly I just boiled the heck out of it and strained it. The juice was so rich I even diluted it some. And it was sooo good. Alas, we have no grapes at our house now. Your basement looks kind of dungeon-ish. I always wish I had open shelves in my kitchen to put my jelly on, it always looks so pretty. but then I decide that 30 jars of jam and jelly sitting out in full view kind of gives a grocery store affect so I end up putting them away.

Juniper said...

Such a sweet start to your post, a love note about a grapevine. Am happy to hear you have found one right there in your new yard and such an abundant one!! My sister was making grape jam when we visited this summer and I watched with awe, the smells and taste were wonderful! It is in the mid to upper eighties here and sunny sunny sunny, am craving a bit of fall. At least this week the children have started school and the routine of a new year has begun. Can't tell you how happy I am not to be teaching full time this year!!