‘Tis time to harvest the bounties of summer. Several years ago, Verlin was really into making home made wines. Then suddenly one day, his son (Chris) became interested in exploring the art of wine making. So, Verlin introduced his son to the process and away the two of them went, buying grapes, fruits of different types, kits, and on…. They were quite successful, most of the time, at making really good wine and sometimes making really big not so good really smelly stuff.
Then about 5 years ago, Verlin gave his son 2 scrawny little grape vines as a gift. They planted them with special care and lots of manure. These little plants have had special care and love and now produce a lot of really good concord grapes. This year however, these silly little plants went crazy and their bounty is enormous. Chris sent a text to his dad the other day saying the grapes were ready. So yesterday, we decided to go and get some grapes.
The problem is we really do not need more wine at the moment as the stores in our basement are still abundant. Chris said he was just going to can the juice. Great idea!
Only problem is we do not have canning equipment -- plenty of wine making equipment but no canning equipment. We decide to take a detour to Lehman Hardware in Kidron, OH on our way to Wooster, OH to pick grapes.
Lehman Hardware is one of those old fashioned hardware stores with EVERYTHING one could possibly think of needing and then some. We successfully purchased the juicer equipment and off we went to pick our fill of grapes.
Chris had already picked a 5 gallon bucket full by the time we arrived. We pick 6 gallons of grapes and this by the way does not even make a noticeable dent in the bounty. We get a quick lesson from Chris on how to use the equipment we purchased, go home remove all the grapes from the stems and begin the hour long cooking process to pasteurize the fruit; it is now 9:30pm, we decide to refrigerate the two large soup pans filled with hot grape mess overnight.
Then today, I finished the juicing process, it took me about 4 hours to complete. When I finished, I decided to sample the finished product and to my surprise the juice is exceptionally sweet without the addition of sugar!
Still I am surprised at the wonderful nectors nature provides without all the additives, our wonderful Concord grape juice is one of these reminders. This really dark purple, ever so sweet gift I placed in ice cube trays and is now in the freezer waiting to bless our breakfast table or snack time. I feel well pleased with the effort, and am looking forward to consuming our treasure.
Yes, it would have been way less work to just buy the juice at the grocery, but, we would not have had the bonding relationship experiences we shared together and with our children. Nor do I believe the grapes would have tasted as sweet.