Friday, October 28, 2011


One of the best things to happen when the first frost comes is the quality it gives the grapes--the cold temperature increases the sweetness of the grapes, and the juice we make from those juicy, sweet grapes is just delicious! I picked them yesterday after our couple nights of freezing temperatures, and used the juicer to steam several quarts of grape juice.  We have three varieties in the yard which grow on the perimeter fence line, so neighbors share the crop.  To the back we have Concord grapes--the ultimate juicing grape!  On the side perimeters we have a seedless Thompson green grape and also a grape that was mis-marked as Concord, but is another unknown variety.  It is lighter in color, and has seeds, so the only thing that they're suitable for is juicing.  I mix the Concord and the unnamed one together, about 3/4 Concord to 1/4 unnamed variety.  The juice is great, and I'm glad I don't have to waste the grapes.  The green seedless ones are great right from the vine--and my family thinks they're better than any store-bought grape you can get! I have also dried the Thompson grapes to make delicious raisins.  I use a steamer juicer to make the grape juice, which makes it so easy.  All we do is pick and wash the grapes, then put them, stem and all, into the top portion of the steamer.  Grapes steam for an hour. After an hour, we drain the hot juice into clean, hot quart jars, put a lid on, then a cap--no need for processing or sugar.  We fill the juice right up to the top of the jar. When the lid is on and the cap tightened, it forms a vacuum, and the bottles seal very quickly.  Since the juice is to the top, there is no air between the juice and the cap, so it stays fresh and doesn't spoil.  With no sugar added, it is a healthy and easy drink for my family, and better than you can buy in the store!  Umm good!  I also love the beautiful colors of the grapevine leaves--no two are alike.  When they change, I know fall is here and the grapes will soon be ready!

Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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