Monday, September 15, 2014

Apples and Grapes

We have wild grapes that grow on the hill between us and our neighbors.  Along with the Buckthorn berries, the grapes get very ripe and fall onto our driveway, staining the concrete.  This year, maybe because of all the rain we got, the grapes were abundant.  So, in the one week I had between our summer road trip and the start of school, I picked as many grapes as I could reach.  I even talked to the neighbor to see if they were going to use their grapes this year.  The grapes on their side get the western sun and were even more abundant than on our side.  They said to go ahead and pick as many as I could.  Although I've never done it before, I decided to make grape jelly.  I didn't know that you really don't have to pick all the berries off the stems so I sat and picked enough grapes off stems to fill 3 full ice cream gallon buckets!  And then I put them in the fridge cause we had a few other things going on.  This past weekend, I finally made the jelly - 26 little jars of yummy goodness!

After all these jars, I still had a gallon of juice left and no desire to make more jelly.  My mom was at my house for the day, using my stove to can applesauce, so we had an afternoon snack of grape juice/7-Up, crackers and cheese.  It was good but we both agreed that something a little stronger than 7-Up might taste even better.  But we had work to do.  Our family farm has an old apple tree.  Last year, my parents paid John $.01 for every apple he picked off the ground before it snowed.  He made $8.00 - that's how many apples that tree produces!  This year, my mom picked the apples before they fell to the ground - saved herself $8.00 but bought herself a lot of work!  We ended up with 18 quarts of applesauce and 29 pints.  It is pink because she left the skins on - a little more nutritious.

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