Archive | September 2012

Grapes

Harvest time isn’t quite here — although you wouldn’t know that by the weather lately (have I mentioned I LOVE autumn!), but we had TONS of grapes.  We needed to do something with them before the chickens ate them all, and while my kids can put down some grapes there were just TOO many — they were literally climbing the basketball hoop:

So anyway we thought — why not try to make some grape juice.  So first we thought my lemon squeezer would work — but the grapes are too small and slip up through the spout — no problem — we’ll just borrow a juicer.  So we borrowed this fantastic Sharper Image juicer and started loading in grapes.  While we did get juice, it wasn’t good — at all.  It was frothy (even after running it through a cheesecloth) and had this weird “pepper-ie” aftertaste on the back of your tongue — apparently from the seeds… just not appealing at all!  We were just about to give up when we got smart and got some advice.  Apparently you are supposed to cook the grapes and then put them through a strainer.  So I got out the biggest pot we have and boiled some grapes in about an inch of water:

Aren’t they pretty? — the picture doesn’t do the color justice — it is a BEAUTIFUL shade of purple that I just loved!  I’m actually thinking next year I may try to dye some fabric — my wooden spoon is already a lovely shade 🙂

Anyway the grape skins split and if you take a potato masher to them they turn in to juice — run the liquid through a strainer and Voila!  Grape Juice!  It is pretty concentrated so every jar needs to be watered down and a little sugar takes it much closer to store-bought grape juice, but it is yummy!  I ended up with about 16 quarts which will make close to 8 gallons when diluted.  Unreal!  Love it!  So if you are in Wisconsin looking at some fantastic fall foliage (it really is starting to get beautiful here) — stop in and you can try some fresh apple cider or grape juice.  Maybe next year I’ll get ambitious and even have some “adult grape juice” to offer 🙂

This entry was posted on September 20, 2012. 1 Comment

Wagon

This is Wagon:

Can you guess who named her?  Yes everyone it was Connor.  Mark asked him what he though he wanted to name her and he looked her over and thought long and hard about his favorite things on the farm and came up with Wagon.  Not sure if he was thinking about his two little red wagons that attach to the back of his plastic toy tractor:

Or perhaps one of the larger wagons that hook up to the BIG tractors, but Wagon it is.  This is Connors first cow and she is already moving up in the world.  She left her calf hutch just the other day and is now living in a box stall in the barn.  A calf hutch is kind of a little plastic shed where calves live from shortly after they are born until they are weaned.  They are tied to the hutch and for some reason you don’t want to leave them tied for too long so they move to the box stalls in the barn when they are about two months old.  A box stall is just a small pen generally in the corner of a barn.

She is still so little (or as little as a cow can be).

I know this blog is a long time coming — turns out the rice trick does not work on cameras 24 hours later.  Well that isn’t totally true — it works enough to allow you to get the images off of the camera and give you some false hope that it will work — so we needed to invest in a new camera.  I was playing with it and just took some photos of the barn and liked this one so I though I would share — it will also be a fantastic before shot if we ever get around to painting the barn 🙂

Blessings and Happy Hump Day!

Cari