Sunday, September 8, 2013


I was sitting out in back yesterday when I started sneezing like anything. I don't get allergic easily and I don't have a cold, so I started looking for the culprit.

All around the house and garden this year we have been in a kind of grape heaven. The seedless champagne grapes I planted a few years ago have really come into their own. And Janet's concord vine took over the back and side of our house. Neighbors (not very perceptive ones) even pushed our vine down when it started to beautify their fence. 

Well the cause of all the sneezing was the grapes. Either that or the bugs, spiders, and birds hanging around in them. So I decided to cut. Five huge bowls later I was the dubious owner of a ton of redolent grapes. Nothing to do but clean them. 

That was a good choice of activity. Sometimes a little repetitive cleaning gives the brain a break. The fingers enjoyed handling the endless eyeballs and a sense of accomplishment set in. 

Once they were clean, I poured my grapes into a large pot and cooked them down, letting them cool overnight. This morning came the straining. Skins and seeds went into the compost and what was left? A big pot of foamy thick grape juice. The rest of the day I spent boiling it down. Until just a few minutes ago when the bottom of the pot was just the consistency of oatmeal when you take it off the flame. 

A little sour, very rich, with any luck Janet will enjoy the condensed fruit on top of her rice cakes for a few weeks. 

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