September 4, 2014

The Purple Five-Step: A Dance for the End of Summer

Step One: Make concord grapes. But not raisins.
We have a mysterious malady that gives us just hours between ripe grapes and models for a Raisin Bran commercial

 Step Two: Spend days fetching ripe grapes-that-are-not-yet-raisins, while avoiding 1)falling off stool resting on rocks; 2)hitting three-foot chimes that trigger sound waves that eat cells in your ears; and 3)tripping over large brown dog with slimy pink ball.
Oh, and did I mention wasps?
 Step Three: Find each ripe purple grape among its green associates...stem by stem. Pick most humid day of entire summer to do this on the porch. Then, clean and mash into pulp and boil for 10 minutes. Strain into juice...drip by drip. Spend the afternoon removing purple drip stains from white counter.
 Step Four: Dirty every possible container in the kitchen to extract grape juice from its crystals, bring everything to a rolling boil with sugar, gel with pectin and then ladle into jelly jars. Spend afternoon cleaning jelly drip stains from white counter and review Julie's Law of Canning: the number of jelly jars in the basement will never equal the number of serviceable rings, and will be exactly half of the number of fresh lids. Until you buy fresh lids, at which point, the number of lids will exceed the number of jelly jars by 2.66.
Step Five: The Pay Off for it all. 
I love eating the foam right off a spoon from the jar. Which explains why I spent the summer losing 25 pounds.

 Happy end of summer, y'all.