Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grape Stompin'

After working at a winery for almost 10 years, Marc's not too keen on picking or pressing any more grapes. He has a few wine grape plants scattered around and they're ready to pick. He initially planted 60 when we first bought the property, but wild hogs rooted most of them up before we moved out here. We have a bumper crop of wild Muscadine grapes this year too. They're not planted in civilized rows with manicured aisles between, they grow on trees, fence lines, etc. You have to watch for spiders, wasps, snakes etc., when picking them, and I don't like wild critters at all.
I remember when I was a teenager, Dana made some homemade wine. All I remember is that she put it in a crock in the pantry and must have used a lot of sugar, cause it was sweet. (I dipped a few sips out of the crock).

I would like to try making some home made wine, but don't really have all the equipment yet, so I guess I'll have to wait till next summer. Meanwhile, I'm juicing grapes for jelly, syrup and maybe even just to drink.

I pulled out my trusty Roma Food Mill and inserted the grape spiral and started cranking. It was incredibly easy (Sidebar: I am not getting paid by Lehman's to advertise, but I have to say, this is well worth the price. You can get the basic food mill and all extras for about $75. It saves unbelieveable amounts of time and work) The skins and seeds went out one side and the juice and pulp the other. I ran the skins through again just to be sure I got all the juice. So far I have 1-1/2 gallons of juice in the freezer.

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