Last year we only found a few wild grapes here & there. It had been a hot and rainy summer. This summer was cooler and dryer and the grapes must have liked that a little better because they are hanging in heavy clusters from their vines on the trails behind our house and alongside the road. I fight the urge to travel with a ladder and pull over to pick them. Somehow I'm thinking winding new england roads and crazy woman with a ladder spell out accident waiting to happen. We did walk the trail behind our house and pick some from a few spots. I'm sure the birds enjoy them too, so we left plenty for them. We ended up with almost 20 pounds. Enough for a double batch of grape jam. The guy of the house was rather excited about this, having grown up making forts in the woods behind his house and eating his own weight in wild grapes every summer in upstate New York. Late into the evening I cooked the grapes down with a bit of sugar, just enough for a hint of sweetness. They never did quite jell, so I added a small amount of Pomona's to give the jam a soft set. It's not the color of the grape jelly we grew up with…. and nowhere near the cloying sweetness. The taste is right on though, with a hint of tartness just like eating the grapes fresh. I was so happy the jam retained their pungent heavenly scent as well. The kids like it on pb&j sandwiches. I like it on crackers with some soft goat cheese. Delicious either way, for sure.
Another canning post… yes I know. Apples are coming soon….