My grandparents had concord grapes growing in their backyard. One giant vine grew over the arbor where we would hang out for garden visits or family parties, and another group of vines grew along the whole distance of their side yard. The grapes they grew were called Concord Grapes and they are very special and distinctive grapes.
Concord grapes are super round like perfect marbles. The skins are a deep, dark purple and when you bite into one, the skins slip right off to expose a sweet, light green fruit inside. Also, they have big seeds that you have to spit out. The skins are tart and the insides are sweet, but together they are perfect. For as long as I can remember, I've had a special process for eating a Concord grape:
1. take a little nibble off the end to break the skin
2. hold the grape up to my mouth and pinch the squishy grape into my mouth
3. eat the insides and spit out the seeds
4. eat the skins
5. repeat as necessary
When the grapes would start to ripen in my grandparents' backyard, we would stand out there and snack and munch to our hearts' content. My aunt's dog Princess used to go along the grapevine and eat the grapes right off the grapevine (since then, I've learned that dogs aren't supposed to have grapes, but we didn't know that then, and she was fine - so all's well that ends well!). It was super cute. She also used to pick the raspberries. She was really good at it!
Last night I ate dinner at Cafe Gratitude and they had freshly-pressed Concord Grape juice available.
I loved it so much!!
The year that my grandmother died, we were all busy caring for her, and then thinking of her and planning her memorial... and I recall that at some point after she had died, I was visiting my grandpa and he said that the grapes were going to go bad and that we should pick them. The grapes had been a little neglected, in favor of more important things. So, he and I went out into the garden and picked until we filled two 5-gallon buckets. It was an odd time, and we had heavy hearts, but it was also so refreshing to be out in the garden together, tending and caring for the bounty of the grapes. I took all those grapes home, and thought of these two people I loved so much, and made loads of grape juice and grape jelly.
aren't they beautiful?!
this is an accurate representation of actual events!The last couple of days, Nick and Jojo (from Vegan in Brighton) have been in Santa Cruz visiting*, and it is so super fun! I really wanted to take them out kayaking, so this morning we innocently headed out to rent kayaks and the most amazing thing happened! A huge giant humpback whale stuck his head up right behind our kayak! Like 10 feet away from us! He was coming up and blowing his whale breath and sticking his head up all around us. There were a few other kayakers out there too, because apparently there had been an article in the paper about all the whales in our bay. The whole morning was just so unbelievable. In addition to so much whale magic, we also saw sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans, seagulls, terns, loads of tiny fish in the water... and the whole thing was just glorious. So super special!
*this is why I am posting my mofo post at 11pm!