Thursday, September 23, 2010

amazingly easy grape secret recipe

Last week we went to Corey Lake Orchard and picked some grapes..... 

..... o.k. actually A LOT of grapes.  A little over 200 lbs. of grapes.  It took Donovan and I about an hour and 15 minutes to pick.  It was a perfect morning for picking & it sure was nice to have his help.
Interesting fact I learned on Corey Lake's web site...their orchard is one of the many that Welch's comes to ~to make their juice.   

We took Suzy with us.  And yes, she helped pick to.  For about 5 1/2 minutes, flat.  Then she took over the photography.  Which was fine with me, since we only had 2 pair of snippers and she is a little on the small side for reaching the top of the vines. 

It was interesting to me to see things from her angle.  This kept her entertained for a good 30 minutes. 

So I thought I'd tell you how exactly I make the grapes into juice.  It's a super easy process people.  So this is the steamer in the above picture.  I bought mine at a local Amish store, but I found out a friend of mine bought her juicer cheaper on

Wash the grapes.

Put water in the bottom pan of the steamer.  Put on stove. 
Seriously-step by step people.


Set the next part of the steamer on top of the previous part.  This is the container that holds the juice as it is steamed out of the grapes. 


Put the washed grapes into the last container that fits right into the previous part of the steamer.  And put the lid on. 

And seriously if you can put this together: 

You can handle this steamer. 

So as the steam rises from the boiling water in the bottom container, it "juices" the grapes.  It comes out the tube in the front of the steamer.  You simply let the clamp lose and the finished product~Grape Juice comes out of the tube/steamer.  It is boiling hot so I fill the jar and put the canning lid on.  The lids I have soaking in warm water to soften the seal.  And  “Voila"...... 


Grape juice concentrate.  When I open the jar I simply add an equal amount of  water and 1 cup of sugar.  More or less depending on your sweet tooth taste buds.  It averaged out to about 30 cents a jar~which would be 2 quarts of juice.  A very inexpensive and delish treat.  Last year we put up 80 quart and were completely out by April!  This year we got 95 quarts.  Which if we ration this out better this year, it will hopefully last us all year. So leave me a comment & let me know if you'd like to try some.  I will pick a random winner October 1st & mail you a jar along with some popcorn for your next movie night.  :) 

Quote of the day:
Me: "What did you do at recess today?" 
Side note: I usually ask "What is your favorite part of your day?"...but  inevitably the answer is always recess.  So now I cut to the chase.
Isabella: "Play football.  Well not really playing football just throwing the ball back in forth with my friends."
Jack: "spin people off the merry-go-round.  Isabella, if you try it you would find it amusing."

And an apology to you~ if your child goes to school with mine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

special people in my life.

How we spent part of yesterday.

And today we got dolled up....

and went to spend some time with my favorite 89 year old ~Aunt Esther. She's been ill, and it was so very nice to see her smile with/at Suzy. While there she gave Suzy 2 little figurines that years and years ago my mom (Aunt Esther's sister) gave to her. Now she gave them to Suzy who was as pleased as punch.
Funny how you set out to bless someone~and they bless you even more with their gentle spirit & tenderness towards you and your child.

I love you Aunt Esther.

And on our way home today...the most heartbreaking call came. My sweet cousin Joyce who had her baby girl born to her this morning~Quinn Ruthie, her little newborn died just hours later. My soul aches for her. Can not imagine her intense pain right now. If you know Joyce & Jason please lift them up in prayer.

I love you Joyce & Jason. My deepest sympathy to you tonight~as you learn to live with this hole in your heart.

Monday, September 6, 2010

honey do list (3 of 3)

Awwww....can you tell that's Isabella? Kinda looks like my Suzy doesn't it?? This picture was taken exactly 6 years ago. Same time of year, Isabella is holding a doll car seat with her baby strapped in and a blanket over the top to keep her sleeping. See how she even has a purse packed? That was holding the baby bottle and toys for the doll. Mimicking what I would do with William at that time. :) Loved how she would mama. I still remember that morning...feeling quite accomplished to get Isabella, Jack, & William up, dressed, fed, and out the door while still morning. I think I took a picture just because I was just so proud of myself. Not sure where Jack is in the picture...but how's 2 out of 3?

So anyways....I put the picture on to show you the bench....the progression of the bench. See it in the back ground? Back in the day it was
It served us well as a place to keep shoes, and one basket with hats & mittens.

About 4 years later we painted it black and used it various places in our house. When we moved back in December, I decided to use it in our entry way. It now is used for toys & books. While I still love it, I really wanted to give it a re-do. Rather I wanted hubby to redo it.

So last week he got to work. Building sides for the bench, while I worked on a cushion.

He also......used some leftover wood from the lockers & he built a matching shelf.

Completely in love with the new lighter look this entry way has. (Sorry for the dark picture~should have taken it during the day)
I added one basket to the bench, and was in shock that Target still carries the same baskets. Although the 2 I had were pretty worn~they still match. Love to hide those books now. And the shelf at the top~is a complete improvement to a the mirror, in my opinion.

Tomorrow I think I will copy myself from the first picture and make another bittersweet wreath to hang from the coat hooks on my new shelf. Which looking at the ages of those little people in the first pic~I wonder how on earth I even had the time to pick the bittersweet and make a wreath 6 years ago???

quote of the day:
William: "I can smile bigger than anyone. Except for God. He has a really big mouth."