Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grapes

The old equipment shed is leaning pretty badly these days, and I think the grapevine is actually responsible for the shed still standing. This vine was growing by the house before we built the log room and deck. We had to move it and it struggled for the first two or three years in its new location.
But not any more. Now it's like the eggplant that ate Chicago, sprawling over the ground and up the building.
It is also full of grapes. Look at them hanging near the building's roof. If we can keep the black rot at bay we will have plenty of grapes for jelly, juice, and maybe even wine--who knows?

These are just concord grapes, not a fancy variety but they are certainly healthy at the moment. For the past few years we've not had many grapes because of the black rot, but perhaps this year we'll get lucky. We also have some Niagara and some Catawba grapes, but they don't yield like the old standard.

Does anyone have a good grape recipe to share? We just might need it this year. Or a recipe using grape leaves? Seems like I made something with them a few years back but now I can't remember what it was.

9 comments:

Cathy said...

It is loaded and nothing tastes like homemade grape jelly. I'll see if I can find a recipe for you. I haven't made grape jelly since Kate was born. Yummy.

Granny Sue said...

You're right, Cathy. I'm not a big fan of grape jelly--but the homemade is incredibly good. I have not made any in several years either.

We used to make grape juice the way our neighbors showed us: fill canning jars with grapes, cover with boiling water, add sugar and process in the water bath for about 10 minutes. It made good juice that wasn't too strong. When we used it, we'd just strain off the juice and give the grapes to the chickens. But it did use a lot of jars doing it this way.

Mary said...

Mmm, I love grape leaves (dolmades) at Greek restaurants. Google brought up many "hits" -- this one starts with fresh leaves, not a jar.
http://greekfood.about.com/od/greekcookinglessons/ss/foldleaves.htm
Let me know how it turns out (wish I were close enough to come taste . . and sit on the porch to just talk).

Laura said...

I don't have a recipe for you, but I do remember making grape jelly with my mom once. A relative gave her the grapes. All I remember is it took lots of sugar and a long time. I was fascinated with the paraffin that mom poured on the top of each jar.

Mimi said...

The idea of grape leaves has triggered up some partial memories for me. I think my mother used to wrap up pickles in grape leaves. Then she would put them into a crock, cover them with a brine and weeks (months?) later I'd get sent to the basement to get a dill pickle out of the pickle jar/crock which now had a plate and a brick on top to keep it covered. I'd have to put my hand and as much of my arm as it required past the grape leaves and into the brine to grab hold of a pickle and pull it out. Yummmm! It was worth it! Today, the only pickles that taste like hers are Kosher which is strange since we were Lutherans. But my folks came from what used to be East Germany so maybe that had something to do with it.

Pam said...

My jelly recipe is simple, but I used a very highly acidic grape. 6 cups of juice, 7 cups of sugar, 2 packets of pectin, a squeeze of lemon, a dollop of butter.

But I'm no expert. It was my first time:
http://pamsangleofrepose.blogspot.com/2008/07/domesticity.html

Markin said...

Stuffed Grape Leaves

50 leaves, wash & drain (or blanch, if fresh); use some to line baking dish

stuffing -- mix up:

2/3 cup raw rice's worth of cooked rice [NOTE: I prefer to cook first,
rather than risk rice cooked al dente]
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup fine chopped green onion
1/2 cup parsley
1 cup celery leaves
1/2 cup dill
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp melted butter

liquid:
2 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp lemon juice

Stuff the grape leaves (vein side in) and layer into baking dish; add the liquid; bake covered at 350 for 1.5 hrs.

-- from a long-time admirer of your blog :)

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Pam and Markin. Both of these sound delicious. I'm glad you sent them along.

Markin, come back anytime. And thanks for letting me know you're reading.

Granny Sue said...

Mimi, that brought back some old memories. I am trying to remember if I used grape leaves in pickles or if it was my mother.

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