You ever have one of those days where you have no energy and really no interest to do anything at all? Me too…that happened yesterday, the day after we spent several hours picking grapes (and I decided to go aggressive and prune the vines even though they aren’t dormant yet…I’ve read online that it can be a ‘good’ thing to do, to promote more fruit next year, so we’ll see if that turns out to be a true thing, or if I will have way less grapes next year!). At any rate, after all that work, I then spent no less than four hours standing at the sink washing the grapes, pulling the ‘good’ ones off the vines one-by-one…oh my aching back! I decided, though, rather than spend more time ‘standing’ and making jelly from them; I’d take the 8 gallons of ‘good’ grapes and turn ’em into wine instead! That way I didn’t have to separate, cook, juice, yada yada yada and do the flurry of activity and time consuming effort to transform the grapes into jars of jelly…instead, I could simply crush ’em all in one big bucket and let that bucket ferment for a week before transferring it into a carboy for the second fermentation…much simpler than making jelly! 🙂
Princess Nagger decided that the ‘crushing’ part looked like lots of fun – she wanted to help, so I transferred clean grapes into my 2-quart glass measuring cup and let her go to town with the potato masher…she did a great job squishing those grapes! Though her attention span wandered at times, as she heard PBS-Sprout on the television in the other room, so she’d politely ask “Is it OK if I go watch Dragon Tales?” “Sure! Knock yourself out” would be my reply…so she’d scurry off to the other room, and once it was over, come back for more mashing. Then Caillou came on, so again “May I go watch Caillou?” she politely asked. “Sure thing, honey – go enjoy…and please turn the light on in the living room, it’s getting dark.” Savannah skipped off to the other room, though I noticed the light didn’t go on…a few minutes later, she came back and said: “Everyone find their seats, the movie is about to begin!” She had decided to leave the light off during Caillou to pretend she was in a movie theater watching a movie – though I was unable to join her, as I was still looking at the very small dent I had made thus far in the second 5-gallon bucket of grapes. When Caillou was over, she came in and ‘caught’ me doing her mashing of the grapes for her, as I was ready to transfer another batch to the measuring cup for smashing…so she ragged on me about not letting her do her job… “Mama!! That’s my job!”
Finally got all the grapes washed/smashed and cleaned up the kitchen to its former sparkling glory so that the fruit flies wouldn’t make their mysterious appearance overnight as the whole first floor smelled like the inside of a grape juice container. Princess Nagger took great pleasure in helping me crush the campden tablets to add to the smashed grapes, and insisted on helping me stir it all in. Sunday morning it was time to add the pectic enzyme and wait another 12 hours before adding the wine yeast, so she missed out on that, but did get to ‘help’ with the addition of the yeast. Now she’s my reminder of when it’s ‘time’ to stir the must since it needs to be done twice daily…that way I won’t forget to punch that cap down! 🙂
So Sunday was a day of wanting to do nothing…except be a vegetable…and at Princess Nagger’s insistence she wanted to watch me play an old PlayStation game called Dark Cloud 2 – a game I haven’t played in probably 5 years, so it was actually fun to try to remember how I played it before. Of course that meant I really didn’t get much done on Sunday, but hey, we all need those ‘do nothing’ days now and again, don’t we?
Today Princess Nagger was excited that it’s the First Day of Fall…I personally love the Fall Season, it’s one of my favorites. The weather is usually wonderful with warmish days and cool nights, and just the changing of the leaves and all that color is enough to make one truly enjoy life. Princess Nagger was hoping that they would do something ‘special’ today at school to denote the first day of fall, but was disappointed that it didn’t seem like that big of a deal…poor thing! So I suggested she draw a picture of a tree with branches, then she can collect some of the early-fallen leaves and glue them to the tree to make her own ‘First Day of Fall’ project to take to school with her…she thought it was a great idea, so once she’s done with her little Fall Project, I’ll post pictures of the result!
To everyone, Happy First Day of Fall – enjoy the season, I know I will! 😉