Frost laid on the roof tops and lawns this past weekend. The true sign that winter is coming. But to me the first frost is the the timer going off from mother nature telling me that it is time to pick my concord grapes. Yippee! My first year of picking and harvesting my grapes. It has taken 3 years and I was able to pick a large bowl of beautiful plump grapes. Yet this bowl was not enough to juice for grape juice. I am blessed to have a dear friend that knew my lack of grapes. She knew where to get more and arranged for me to pick the grapes in her family members rented home.
Saturday I had one hour opened so I enlisted my girls and we went a pickin’. We picked and picked and picked. One hour we had three boxes of grapes and two girls that filled like poor grape pickers.
My grapes are concord grapes my friends grapes were a different variety. You can see the difference in this photo. Both are sweet and work great for juicing.
I used a fruit steamer and steamed them for 60 minutes for juice. The lighter grapes bring a pink juice and is a little sweeter. Once I had the juice I filled my bottles and processed in my water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Note that my sister who also has grapes suggested that I do not add the stems of the grapes to the steamer. Although the instruction to the steamer says that you can. She claims that adding the steams gives the juice a bitter taste. So I rounded up my kids and her kids and had them pick the grapes off the stems. Even my little one had a fun time with all the grape pickers. Well she had fun tickling all the toes of the pickers.I was able to get 14 quarts of grape juice from my fun day of picking grapes. Thanks to all those that made it happen.