Yes, even though I haven’t posted for most of the summer, I’m still laboring while others are sleeping.
Tonight the kitchen is abuzz with activity.
A three-layered metal contraption called a steamer is percolating on the stove top. The Swedish genuis who designed it created a method to split open the cells of fruit with heat, and siphon their juicy goodness.
I’ve beaten the wicked deer to the Concords this year. 5-gallon buckets of grapes line up next to the stove, awaiting their turn in the steamer. I drain the boiling purple juice into big half-gallon jars and listen for the lids to “Ping”, indicating they’ve sealed. It takes about an hour for each batch.
Even though it’s 2 in the morning when I finish, I trek the stems and collapsed grape skins outside to the compost pile. (Fruit flies…blah)
The air is crisp from the first chilly snap of the season. Leaves litter the ground. Orion has returned to the sky after his summer vacation. The faint light of a half-moon illuminates curlicues of steam ghosting off the pot of spent grapes I carry.
It’s a night to remember. Late nights are like that…when you think no one is awake, and you have the stars and quietness all to yourself.
Just as Dandelion wine evokes images of long sunny days, each jar of grape juice, will fill my cloud-ridden winter with crisp autumn nights and the waning moon of summer. I’m really canning moon shine.