A while back, I found a strainer/colander like my mom and I used a long, long time ago. It is very simple and works great with little effort and easy cleanup. Much simpler than the seeder/strainer attachment on the KitchenAid we tried last year.
I picked about half of the grapes, leaving the others to ripen a little longer. I was surprised at how many there were. I rinsed them off outside first to get rid of the tiny little crawling critters and discourage the small cloud of gnats that accompanied them to the house. Then I picked off all of the usable grapes and rinsed them again.
The directions say to cover them with boiling water and simmer until soft. I think next time I will use less water. It seemed to really dilute the juice.
After they were soft, I used the colander strainer to remove the skins and seeds from the pulp and juice. Like I said, it was very easy, quick and a breeze to clean up.
Now, to leave the juice in the frig for 24 to 48 hours before straining with a cheese cloth. We now interrupt this process. It was during this time frame that my brother had his accident. I'm not actually sure how long the juice set. I think I got back to it before the 48 hours was up, but I'm not sure.
I tried filtering the juice through three layers of cheese cloth, as the book described, but it just wouldn't go through after a very short period of time. I kept having to rinse the cloth to get anymore through. So, by the end of the juice, I was down to one thickness of cheese cloth.
This morning we poured up a glass of juice and added a heaping teaspoon of sugar to cut the tartness. It was still pretty tart, but we plan to drink it over the next week or so instead of preserving it. I originally planned to pick the rest of the grapes and get them processed, then take all of the juice and can or freeze it to use over time. This was one of those times that things didn't go as planned. I haven't even checked on the remaining grapes out on the vine. I may get back to them, but I may not.
This has been an interesting spring and summer. It has been an abnormal year and now abnormal has become the normal for us. I am grateful that we have been led to prepare for hard times. We are still comfortable with the stores in our pantry, so I am not stressing over how much of the garden or grapes we are not getting preserved. There will be other harvests and other times. For now, we are taking things slowly as they come. Frank is healing nicely and is able to do more everyday. My brother is doing well, all things considered. We are blessed.
Until next time - Fern