Saturday, 24 September 2011

Picking Grapes

Alright then, here is a post that is actually what the title depicts it to be. So, now that the prepping up to the picking of the grapes has been covered, we will now delve into the picking of the grapes. As stated, my husband had to help me because I needed someone to remove the Lady Bugs (shudder). Unfortunately, we picked a cold day to do it. Good because the grapes were cold, bad because our hands were cold. We would pick whole clusters and place them into our bowls. Once the bowls were full, we would go inside and put them in the kitchen sink, where the sinks were full of cool water (to make those pesky Lady Bugs show themselves, and to wash the grapes). Now the up to the location of our grapes is that it is on our fence so its pretty easy to see them. The down side is that the fence is right in front of our pond. Luckily, I had bought a pair of rubber boots two days earlier (needed them field trip in school to a bog and they were only $9!). So here I am, standing in the middle of our pond, in my new rubber boots picking grapes from our grape vine.

So, I was talking to someone at our local farmer's market about grapes. I wanted to get more grapes so that way we would be completely covered for grape juice for a really long time but they were sold out. Anywho, he said the grapes were most definitely beta grapes based off of the description of the taste (remember last post; taste like grape flavoured Dimatab, cough medicine). Here are some photos though of me picking the grapes and what not.

Here's the haul! So many grapes! We guessed about 20 lbs of grapes. 

Monday, 19 September 2011

Grapes! . . . Actually more like Clover . . .


Look at me!

I'm actually making a full one, cool, with picture post.

Awesome points are going up.

Alright, now that I have made myself feel better, back to what's really important. GRAPES! More importantly, my husband and I picking our grape vine last week and the bounty that ensued! I have no idea what variety of grape my vine is but I can tell you that they are sweet and taste like dimatab (yes, it tastes like grape flavoured cough medicine). I'm guessing that it is either a beta or a valiant variety because those are the two purple juice grape varieties that can grow in Manitoba, and it tastes nothing like concord grapes. Now, as my other posts have detailed, I required assistance in picking the grapes because I HATE lady bugs, so my assistant would be removing the lady bugs from my presence. I volunteered my husband. He kind of grumped about how I should just poke them with a stick to make them move away from me, but it actually turned into one of the best times I've had hanging out with him. Of course, Clover the cat was supervising. And by supervising, I mean being cute and an all around pain. One person would go into the house to unload a bowl of grapes, and when they were coming back out, she would rocket her way back into the house. Then, realizing that she was in the house alone, she would sit at the patio door and stare at us till one of us let her back out. And repeat. Here are some pictures of her being cute.

She thinks she's cute when she stands on things like a pile of rocks, or in a box. Probably because I start babbling to her, "Are you on a pile of rocks? Are you a cute kitty on rocks? Ohhhhh, aren't you a special kitty. Hanging out on a pile of rocks."

Adventurous kitty!!

Okay, this turned more into a post of Clover being cute, but at least we're getting somewhere. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Every day . . .

Every day I look forward to writing another blog post, with ever the amounting ideas. But I can never find the time! Right now I'm far too busy canning grape juice, grape jelly, canned tomatoes, freezing food and other life requirements right now that I can't seem to find time to do a cool, with pictures post. If my school had decent wifi, I could do it in class . . . maybe that's why we don't have wifi in class though. Anywho, I will flood this blog in a week with my escapades!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Soon to be Post . . . Food Canned/Frozen To Date!

So, seeings as I'm nearing the end of my harvest, I thought I should share with you my haul. I'm going to typed down the total number of jars or bags of food I have, and how many meals that jar or bag will last. Example, one jar of canned tomatoes should make two spaghetti sauce recipes. Today my husband helped me pick the grapes. Tomorrow I will post the pictures that he took of me. One of the upsides to having someone help you is that there are now enough arms and mind room to be able to take pictures. Some of them I think are pretty funny.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Silly Reason for Not Being Able to Process Vegetables for Winter

No ice cubes.

Yup, that's right. No ice cubes means no canning tomatoes, no blanching potatoes for freezing, no blanching carrots for freezing. Oh well. Soon my fridge will bless me with some ice (sooner rather than later please!) and then I will be able to process my food.

Tomorrow though I'm picking my grapes. My husband has been very impatient for these to be picked. He wanted me to pick them this weekend, but seeings as it is lady bug season, HECK NO! I really don't like lady bugs (detest would be a better word), and if they didn't eat aphids, I would kill all of them on the spot. So I'm sure that there will be lady bugs in and around the grapes, so I need assistance. I need someone else there with me to take the lady bugs over to the other side of the yard, away from me and prevent them from flying at me, by me, landing on me, touching me, and from me seeing them. Tomorrow is my husbands day off so since he wants them picked so bad, he has to be my assistant.

Yes, I am serious. I hate lady bugs. I am totally this weird.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Silly Reason for Not Being Able to Pick My Carrots

I can't pick my carrots. Why? I have Black Swallowtail caterpillar's sitting on them. I am very excited to have my yard be a chosen paradise for a butterfly species, so I am refusing to pick my carrots until they are gone.

 Also, I don't like to touch bugs.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Every canner's worst nightmare (or at least mine)

So I get a text from my husband saying, "I made tomato sauce!"
I think nothing of it, except good for you, you made yourself food instead of asking me to make you food.
Half an hour goes by when it hits me.
He made tomato sauce . . . with canned tomatoes . . . my canned tomatoes . . . my pride and joy, all my hard work and effort! Yes, I am devastated by this. Why, oh why did my husband have to make tomato sauce, with MY home-grown home canned tomatoes! Of course this sends a wave of negative thoughts through my head such as, 'He probably screwed it up and wasted my tomatoes!' 'He probably ruined the jar somehow and I won't be able to use it again!' 'He probably didn't clean up after himself and now I have one more thing that I have to do when I get home!'
But fortunately, the world did not end. The sauce he says is good and the kitchen had only one extra dirty skillet, and he even loaded the dishwasher and put turned it on. He was very proud of himself (not for turning on the dishwasher but for making his own tomato sauce). The only slight problem was that the recipe he used called for 2 cups of canned tomatoes and instead he used a quart (4 cups). One jar of our canned tomatoes I calculated to last us 2 weeks. He just used up two weeks worth of tomatoes for one week of food. Am I a little insane? Yes, yes I am. Why? I would like to point out that I get giddy when I start canning food or processing vegetables from my backyard. This points to insanity because no other young adult I know cans food at home nor gets excited and giggly when doing so.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I haven't been on here in two weeks. I feel pathetic. But we are so busy right now. We have been rushing to finish putting in a kitchenette in our basement laundry room. Trying to save money/earn money, we are renting out one of our basement bedrooms and the basement bathroom. I very much dislike sharing my kitchen (cause I have to keep it clean all the time, and don't get to let is slide) so I suggested we put a kitchenette in our laundry room. So we had to run some electrical to the room, plumb for a sink, put up new insulation, drywall, mud, paint, put up cabinets, and so on. The renter will have a fridge, very large toaster oven, microwave and hot plate. From that, they should be able to make everything they need. I like this reno because not only do I get my kitchen all to myself, I now will have more room to store my canned foods.

Okay, I just stopped typing and realized how sad the last part of that sentence was. But who cares! I can food and I love it. I'm waiting for water to boil right now to skin tomatoes. I have another junk load of ripe tomatoes to be canned today. To follow hopefully soon will be posts on my harvest and such.