This weekend is slightly different from some of my past experiments I have posted about. This weekend I got a call from a friend and old officemate, Leslie Peterson. She has a beautiful home in Southeast Portland that was built by her grandparents (Italian immagrants) in the early 1900s.
They planted a concord grape vine in the back yard which they used to use to make wine every year. This produces tons of grapes (okay, not tons, but hindreds of pounds, for sure) and Leslie has struggled to figure out what to do with them all - I mean, you can really only eat so many grapes. When she found out a few years ago I liked to make jams, she offered as many grapes as I could carry away. The first time, two years ago, this wound up being just over a hudred pounds of grapes that I made, jelly, flavored syrup, and juice with - like a lot (in fact if i look around, i bet i still have a half pint of that jelly still floating around).
Well, Leslie was calling to let me know it was another bumper crop this year and I was welcome to head over this weekend to harvest. Davy (my daughter) and I went over this morning and were able to get what wound up being 60 pounds of grapes! And best of all, there is easily another 60 pounds there that arent quite ready. Most likely I can go back in about 2 weeks and get another big load.
So I've spent the rest of the day progressing these grapes into a grape juice. Rather than making jelly right now, I want to get this all processed and canned so that when i am ready to begin full production, I can pull these out and do grape jelly in large quantities! After a long process of straining, then refiltering the juice, I know have 6 gallons of finished juice - I saved out half a gallon for drinink (which I sweetened with honey) and the rest has been stowed away, ready for jelly when I'm good and ready.