Monday, September 6, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

Today is Labor Day.  The boys have been enjoying their "extra Saturday" by building forts in the pine trees, building zip lines, and rope swings.  I have cleared the asparagus plants that had gone to seed.  My most amazing husband made a wonderful fish and potato chowder for lunch, which was promptly eaten by the boys.
After lunch I went on a walk down the lane, it had been a while since I walked to the pond.  I soaked in the warm sun, enjoying the tickle of the wind as it tossed my hair about.  I knew that there were wild grapes that grew along the pasture fence and hoped I could find them again.  I discovered a vine only to see that there were hundreds of grapes growing along the fence.  Immediately I turned around to get a basket. The grapes growing on the fence had almost taken over every tree, low bush and fence post around them.
Excited at the prospect of canning something from the farm this fall I cut three + pounds of grape clusters and put them in my basket.  I continued to walk along the lane enjoying the early signs of fall.
Last year I found apple trees along the path to the pond and I hoped to find them again too.  I found two golden delicious trees and a red apple tree, unfortunately they had poor fruit yields.  I made a mental note to  come back and trim the trees when they were dormant.
My big surprise was finding a crab apple tree.  My grandparents had one in their yard and I remembered that my grandmother made candied apples with her crab apples.  Into my basket they went.
I took my bounty back home, cutting some goldenrod along the way.  Once in the kitchen, I prepared the goldenrod for a vase in the dining room and set to task reading about how to can the fruit.  My husband came into the kitchen and suggested we make a jelly out of it.  The grapes were the size of small blueberries, making it hard to remove them individually from the stem.  We took out a sieve that we could use to separate the fruit from the juice to make the jelly.  It was the same one my grandmother used on her farm, it seemed fitting.
After processing the grapes my husband said he wasn't sure they were really grapes.  He went on-line and found a picture of the "grapes" only to discover we may have black currants.  Whatever they are they taste wonderful, truly another unexpected blessing in an already blessed day.

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