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