Yesterday evening I finally got around to harvesting the grapes from my back fence. I should have done this about 2 weeks ago, but with our camping trip and all it just didn't happen.
I started by bringing a big soup pot out there to collect them with. Then after I cut about 5-6 bunches realized that I was going to need something a lot bigger. I grabbed an empty 5 gallon bucket. Within 5 minutes that was getting close to being full. The Latin King came to help and bring more buckets.
We ended up with three 5 gallon buckets of grapes! I couldn't believe it! That's my biggest harvest ever!
I bought these little grape vines at Lowes. I think they were mislabeled because they all have seeds in them, even though I KNOW some of the tags said seedless. Therefore, even though they have a good taste, the boys won't eat them. They are seed phobic, especially Pooh who doesn't eat strawberries because of the seeds on the outside.
What am I going to do with all those grapes? Whatever I do has to be fairly easy and uncomplicated since I'm really not into details. My brain stops functioning when the process is too complicated. So, last night I processed one bucket into glass jars for cordial. Very easy. I just smoosh the grapes (either with hand or masher), fill into jars, add Vodka, top them and sit them on my counter. Then for about 2 weeks (or until I get around to the next step) I'll turn the bottle over to give a little shake each day (or when I remember). After two weeks you strain out the juice, add some sugar to it and put it back into clean jars to sit for at least two months. I usually let mine sit until winter and then will break open a jar on a cold winter evening for a nice little glass of grape cordial. So good and so easy!
Something new I'd like to try this year is to make grape jam/jelly. I have a juicer and I read about juicing the grapes (seeds, stems and all some say--but I think I'm leaving out the stems) and then making the jam/jelly. I don't think this will turn out like regular jelly because 1. my grapes are white and 2. juicing them will probably make it a little thicker (I don't have much patience for cheesecloth). I'm going to try it and see how it works. At the very least I can freeze the juice for drinks throughout the year and/or making fruit leathers with my dehydrator.
So I'll be off my schooling groove for the day as I process 10 more gallons of grapes. Better get to it!