Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grape Expectations

Today was a GRAPE day!  I mean great day.  Daddy finally convinced Mommy to make an attempt at canning grape jelly from the Concord grapes growing along the fence (yep, the same ones I like to nibble/gorge on).  Mommy was a little (a lot) nervous about this canning business.   
Be sure to look closely at that tee shirt!
I still can't believe my parents didn't allow me or my siblings to go out to the grape vine with them.  We had to watch from inside as they cut the grapes off the vine.  I am sure I could have been a big help taking those grapes off the vine.  I'm not sure how many would have made it into the bucket, but I didn't even get a chance to try!  I guess it was probably for the best since Daddy had to fight off hornets in the process!  One day while I was helping myself to the grapes, I was stung by a bee.  It was no fun. 

By the way, Mommy has mentioned my love of grapes to the doctor since grapes are supposed to be toxic to dogs.  Doc Stoneback has decided they probably aren't as dangerous as store bought grapes since we grow them ourselves and use absolutely no chemicals on them, not even fertilizer (Daddy isn't sure if anything could kill this vine!).  Their "organic" quality seems to be fine for me so far . . . cross your paws.

Jelly making was quite a learning process for them both.  Mommy and Daddy picked seven pounds of grapes from the vine.  I hear they left quite a few grapes out there, but I haven't had the chance to taste for myself.  Seven pounds of grapes makes about TWELVE pints of jelly!  Those twelve pints are divided into many quarter pint and half pint jars.  Mommy doesn't even really care for grape jelly.  She is more of a strawberry jelly person.  (There was no chance of strawberry jelly being canned; I ate each and every individual strawberry that slowly popped up this summer.)  And in my five months here, I think my parents have eaten jelly on a biscuit once.  What are they going to do with all of that purple stuff?  

Lending a helping paw to Mommy as she stresses out over the directions.

She might be losing it . . . Hunter doesn't seem too concerned.
The first batch of jelly set very quickly and Mommy was thrilled with her efforts.  Daddy was quite an integral part of the process and did the heavy lifting since Mommy is still having trouble with tendonitis. 

Daddy strains the grapes.
The second batch was dubbed non-alcoholic wine for quite a few hours after it was made.  The "wine" finally decided it wanted to become jelly and starting setting.  Even if the second batch doesn't become as thick as Mommy wants it to be, I am sure there are a few mouths around here that would be happy to enjoy it no matter what!  Throw a biscuit in with it and we will have a little slice of heaven on earth!
The second batch before it goes into the water bath.
I know some of you out there have canned many goodies over the years, but this was a GRAPE accomplishment for Mommy today.  High paws, Mommy!

Love, Jenna

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