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My Blog

Grape Jelly Season

Good morning to everyone.  It is Friday already.  The time has just whisked by me this week.  I need to take some time today to prepare a program for Sunday.  My paint table is full and will need to get there to work today as well.  The temperatures are expected to drop drastically today, so perhaps I will remove a ham bone from the freezer and make some bean soup. 
Well, today's blog is about Grapes.  I know...such an odd topic, but it brings back so many memories for me.  As a young girl, I can remember the peddler and his truck pulling up in the alley and in September...it was always grape time.  Oh how I loved September back then.  Grandma would buy a basket of grapes to make her grape jelly.  There was nothing better than a slice of her homemade bread smothered with butter and her homemade grape jelly.  I think that today...so many children miss out on the real flavors that we got from foods so long ago.  Not to mention, the aroma's in the kitchen when it was cooking on the stove.  Gram would make jar upon jar...if I had to guess now...I suppose by the time she was done, perhaps she would can up 50 jars of just the grape jelly.  She would give jars away to family members and to the neighbors.  What a priceless gift.  Now I hadn't thought much about grapes...they were just always there.  Then one day, once I was grown and married...we went to Michigan apple picking....September...of course, and as we drove down this battered side road...we came upon a farm with a sign that read....Welches Grapes available for picking.  Well, needless to say, we pulled in.  Upon talking to this small framed woman, we found out that the farm was a supplier to Welches, but her husband had passed away and she was no longer able to continue it's harvesting fro Welches.  She opened the farm up for picking.  What fortune we had come upon.  We went ahead and picked a couple bushels of grapes.  When you popped one in your mouth...as the grapes squished open, you felt as though you were drinking some Welches grape juice.  Now jelly grapes are much different in texture than the standard grapes that we buy in the store.  The skin is tough and the flavors are different.  I couldn't believe how fortunate we were.  I have no idea how many jars of grape jelly I canned that week, but I do remember it was a marathon.  Other than juice and wine...there are not a lot of things to make with those particular types of grapes...at least not to my knowledge.
I started to think about how much I used to love the taste of those particular grapes.  Concord grapes to be exact.  I started to wonder about the benefits that those grapes might have had.  Turns out that there are great benefits to them and how often do any of us really get to have them?   The healthiest part of the grape is the skin, which is packed with not one but 19 different types of health-supporting nutrients.  Reasons for having this in your body are as follows:

1. Great for your memory

2, They are a natural anti inflammatory

3. They lower blood pressure

4. They maintain healthy breast tissue

5. They boost your immune system

6. They are good for a healthy heart

Well, they more I read about those delightfully, robust grapes...the more I want to run out and get some.  I can remember when ever I had surgery or had my children, my taste buds cried out for that taste.  I drank more Welches grape juice back when I was young...and it never seems to be on my menu these days.  I suppose it is time to get them back on my daily intake. If for nothing else...having some of that delightful jelly is a definite plus. Tis the season to enjoy.  Search them out.  Go to a local farmer or farmers market.  Try your hand at making some jelly.  Perhaps you can juice some, the juice can be frozen.  Enjoy the fruit of the season and gain some health benefits along the way! 

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