Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall is here, Winter is threatening.

When I posted about the garden, I forgot about the grapes. We have one grapevine that grows up a 10 foot section of fence along the path to the back yard. Last year we thought we would get a harvest, but the birds got it first!. This year when they started turning purple, we covered the vine with bird netting. When we picked the grapes, we got a large tote about full. Looks like 1 1/2 or 2 bushels.

We spent two days making juice Mom's way. Fill a large pan with cleaned grapes, add water until just below the top of the grapes. Bring slowly to a boil and boil for about 3-5 minutes. Let cool for about a hour then put through the food mill to get most of the juice out. Then put through a straining cloth, in our case a large white dish cloth, which turned PURPLE after 5 batches of grapes.

We put 12 quartes in jars and froze it. It will be a little taste of summer when the snow is flying. It dilutes 1 to 1 with water, add a little sugar. Yum.

We also had about 22 cups of juice to make jelly with. 12 half pints and 10 full pints. Yum.

I don't know the name of the grape, it's not good to eat raw, but the best juice and jelly.

Looks nice.

I spent a day cleaning and reorganizing the food storage. We may not have a year's supply, like the church asks, but, we have enough to get by for a long time, if needed. I only found a few items that were outdated and needed to be tossed. The got lost behind newer items. We can see what we have now. We still plan on some more canned tomatoes, and a case each of corn and beans. We use a lot of them. Most of our food storage is rotated as we use it. And it is food that we use on a regular basis.

When we were growing up, we put up a lot of fruit and tomatoes, and Mom would buy extra when she could and add to the food storage and the freezer. When things got tight, we used to joke about Mom's macaroni tree in the basement! But we usually had enough to get by. My Dad was a carpenter, and sometimes work was scarce in the winter. As a kid, I don't remember worrying about not having enough to eat. So I continue the tradition. Its a keeper.

I have a shelf of freeze dried foods. I plan on adding to it from time to time. That food keeps good up to 10 years. We do need to get a grain mill for flour and a couple more containers of wheat.

I'm not a fanatic about having a food supply, but I do like to feel that we can survive in pinch. If we needed to help out a family member, we would be able to. When the Boy Scouts came by for donations, we had food to donate in the shelves. If we get snowed in in the winter, we don't have to rush to the store before the roads close. We have gas heat even if the power goes out. We could rig a few tarps so we could cook on the barbeque, on the porch, if needed. A couple of oil lamps, plenety of quilts and blankets. We have done a little planning for "just in case". We also have a freezer to store frozen meat and veggies, too.

I used to have an old sheet thumbtacked to the shelves for my design wall. I took that down and I have a new curtain rod and and new sheet to put up. It will be nicer than the old sheet and make getting to the shelves easier.

1 comment:

  1. We just finished the last of our grape juice. We finally bought a steamer and it's very easy to pop them in and the juice comes out.
    I was wondering if you have your owl pin cushion patterns available anywhere. They're darling.