One of the last fruits to ripen is the grape. I think it's one of the prettiest, too. These grow along the fence and are actually our neighbour's vines, but we are welcome to the clumps that grow on our side. We've planted our own vines and I hope that in the next year or two we'll be harvesting from them.
Meanwhile, I've been eyeing the globes over the past couple of weeks, watching them fatten and grow dusky purple. I'd pick one and pop it into my mouth, judging the sweetness until it came time to cut them.
These jars don't look much like grapes, but they are! Rather than press the juice, strain it, and let it settle before canning it, I tried an old-fashioned way this year. After washing the grapes I plunked them into quart jars, poured boiling water over top, sealed the jars and processed them. In a month or so, the liquid will have turned dark purple, and we'll have grape juice! No sugar added, for the grapes are sweet enough. We like it mixed with some club soda for a refreshing drink.
Fourteen quarts of grapes in the canner and there were still more. A little internet exploration brought up variations on Grape Focaccia Bread. I tried it last night when our in-town children and grandchildren came over for dinner. Half of the bread is missing the blue cheese, as half of us don't really like it. (I think it added a lot of flavour.)
You can find my version of the recipe here, or do a search to find one that suits you. Salty, sweet, crunchy, aromatic - this fits the bill. The most time-consuming part was seeding the grapes, and even that didn't take too long.
Grapes - such pretty things. Do you grow them? What do you do with them?
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.