Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thar be GRAPES, my pretty! Anyone for some Zinfandel Jelly?

I was just a teensy bit worried about the prospects of having a good grape harvest this year, considering the considerable fog we had up here on the Plateau through late June. And weirdly enough, we've been hit again with dense fog & 56F temps in the early AM just these past few days - what gives? Our weather is on a schizophrenic bender, is all I can say.

Gilbert said that when he was walking Hana this morning up on Via Huerta, he stopped to chat with one of the neighbors, an old timer who's been living in La Cresta for a couple decades, who made the cryptic statement - "In all the years I've lived here, Fall has never come so early..." Whaaaaaaa? wtf, Fall? Right smack in the middle of August? So were those shooting stars we saw from the Perseid Meteor Shower last Wednesday night really a portender of the next mini Ice Age to come? GET OUT!!! I mean, GET OUT the firewood, MREs, Spam & other canned goods that will sustain us through this catastrophic catastrophe!

Ok - Arleen, time to down some grog & meds and take a really deep breath. Ohmmmmmmmm.

The Thompson Seedless has definitely walked the plank. Alas, the poor bloke is 'ensconced' in mildew, since Gilbert did not take my advice (what's new?) about inundating the damn thing with wettable sulphur.

But, shiver me timbers - do we have some fantastic fruit coming off the Zinfandel, Cabernet, Columbard & Champagne grape vines. And in preparation for the upcoming Winter of our Discontent, I decided to take up the curious domestic craft of "canning", to preserve the fruits of our labor. I won't deny it, but I was initially petrified at the prospect of doing something that I had never done before (insert here the musical theme to the original Star Trek series).

But, canning I did, and ended up with six 1/4 pint jars & two 1 pint jars of Zinfandel Jelly! I have no clue if the end product was properly processed and sealed. But, as the first tasters, if I or Gilbert end up as casualties of botulism in the next couple weeks, I think my canning days will be severely numbered.

Pix from top to bottom are:
Zinfandel grapes (for the jelly!)
Zinfandel, on the vine
Cabernet, on the vine
Columbard, on the vine

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