Well, you get to read about grapes.

I’m tired, like barely keeping my eyes open and my feet under me kind of tired. It’s been a long weekend, a long weekend that I packed full of family, friends and food. Don’t get me wrong I’d do it again, it just amazes me sometimes how much a good thing can take out of you.

Saturday morning bright and early we headed over to the Pasco Farmer’s Market. I try to go as often as possible and do most of my fresh produce shopping this way but with all the traveling we’ve been doing lately I haven’t been able to. So this week I bought potatoes, peaches and grapes. The grapes I was most excited about. Our new home is neighbor to a concord vineyard and I’ve spent the latter part of the summer basking in the wondrous smell coming off those grapes. I’ve been wanting to make some jam and this big glorious box should be just perfect for that.

It ended up being a long non-stop day filled with family, friends, fun and food ranging from the feed store, and the mercantile to game night with homemade chili that the whole family helped make earlier in the day. Sunday however came to soon and I had no idea just how much work I was setting myself up for.

The box of grapes was staring me down. With my jars all on the counter, bowls and pans ready to go I set about the work of making jam. Christopher started to help me multiple times but quickly ran out of steam. I plucked the grapes from the stems and washed them, slipped them from their skins, pureed them (the skins that is) boiled them  all together gently and pressed them through the mill. All this taking much more time than I originally expected, but it was ok, darn this was a wonderful smelling process.

I slowly filled the sterilized jars, careful to get as much in each one as possible. I didn’t want to waste an ounce of the precious and wonderful tasting jam. I placed each jar into the bubbling hot water bath, careful not to splash myself with the hot liquid and impatiently waited to take them out, at which time I set them on a towel and immediately was granted the satisfaction of hearing tiny little pops of canning lids setting. Music to my ears.

Washing up afterwards was quite the ordeal. I dirtied many more dishes than I thought at first and I also came to the realization that the 5lbs of grapes I’d processed was only about a third of the box. Tomorrow is another day I suppose and I’ll attempt to tackle the remainder of the precious fruit. In the meantime I think I’ll toast some gluten free bread and smother it with some butter and fresh grape jam. Such a good thing.

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Rachel Baldwin

Rachel Baldwin

Hi. I'm Rachel. I grew up in the Tri-Cities. Been here most of my life, tried to leave for a few years claiming Eugene, OR as a temporary stopping point, but inevitably came back. Something always seems to bring people back here! Go ahead, try it yourself someday, it's uncanny.I'm a backyard chicken farmer, supporter of keeping it local, allergic to gluten, mother to a shining star and wife to a nerd.

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  • Becca Lingley

    Love it: That popping sound after your cans come out of the water is the best and most rewarding sound ever in that process! Enjoy your fall canning!

  • Lou Galindo

    I’m jealous. Canning is one of those things that I wish I could learn to do but, uh… I’m too lazy. Enjoy your jam! =)

  • Babyfro

    Thanks Becca, first time working with grapes. I usually do pickles and I just made ketchup last month. Hope to travel a little less next year and get my hands a little more dirty at home.