Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pressing Concord Grapes

One of the great things about this island is the way people make room for you in their lives. With a new school come new friendships and  I’ve been so fortunate to meet some wonderful women, two of whom invited me to come watch grape pressing last week. 

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These are organic Concord grapes grown in Eastern Washington.  My hostess, Rhonda made grape pressing look easy.  When I arrived the pressing pot was already steaming away as she dropped in the washed grapes.

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Then she made lunch and tea for us, all the while looking like a million bucks in a kitchen apron.  It’s hard to like a gal like Rhonda but she’s so very nice that we have to overlook her stunning looks and kitchen cool and be friends.  I decided this before she gave me three bars of freshly made soap—yes; the woman makes her own soap and it looks and smells like something you’d be happy to pay a fortune for at a pricey boutique. 

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The grapes have steamed for about 15 minutes and are beginning to sweat and split.  Juice has appeared in the spigot at the base of the pressing pot. 

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The final product is midnight purple, so dark it’s almost black.  Rhonda poured the hot juice into hot jars, fitted with hot lids.  She inverted the jar for 15 seconds to seal.

We tasted the juice fresh from the steamer.  Rich and deeply concentrated it tasted just like a grape warmed by the sun.  I have three jars of this precious stuff and I’m making grand plans for grape jelly, grape popsicles and grape sorbet.  Thank you Rhonda and Carlyn for including me in your afternoon.  Cheers!

2 comments:

El said...

Being from New England, I can't tell you how much this post means. They're in season now and I was just looking for a recipe. Perfect timing!

sandraj said...

Next Year We should get some grapes also, Your Friends make it look so easy.