After three long years of waiting, we finally have a harvest of grapes! My patient husband has lovingly cared for the vine, trained and watered it, and closely watched for any signs of pestilence. His diligence paid off.
We purchased netting to keep the birds from enjoying them before we had a chance to. It
worked – Not exactly. The birds didn’t get to them, and that is what the netting was for. We just underestimated the determination of the giant urban raccoons. Just after the grapes started to ripen, we noticed piles of empty grape skins lying under the vine accompanied by a pile of raccoon droppings. Thankfully, although it was discouraging, the loss was not significant!
So the harvest, by necessity, has begun. Because we have only one vine, I will only make grape juice. (See recipe below.) Hopefully, I will be able to make some grape jelly from the juice at a later date.
This morning, I canned the first 3 quarts. It warms my heart to know what delicious goodness rests inside those jars. I can’t wait to have the first glass! I think it just might be what has been referred to as the “Nectar of the gods”.
This is the simplest grape juice recipe I have ever seen. I have made the recipe with both amounts of sugar. It seems to be a personal preference regarding the amount of sweetness you enjoy.
Place 1 cup of Concord grapes in the bottom of a sterilized one-quart canning jar. Add ½ to 1 cup of sugar. Fill the jar with boiling water. Cover with lids and bands. You can process 10 minutes in a hot water bath canner. (However, the boiling water should cause the lids to seal without it.) Place in a cool dark place for six weeks. Strain before serving. We dilute with water to taste. Enjoy!