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August 25, 2009


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It is now 2015 and I am seeing these posts for the first time. These writings are so close to my memories of helping Mom in the kitchen are amazing. I was the youngest son of 7 kids. When it came time to delegate the work load on the farm, my Dad would tell me that I needed to help Mom today with the canning. What great childhood memories we can share to those who have not had the opportunity to live them.


Roger-The grapes you're describing sound like Fox Grapes-but its hard for me to tell without seeing them. Fox Grapes are more 'sour' than a domesticated grape. If they are purple I would think they are already ripe. The grapes in my picture-are fox grapes they grow wild along the creek here.

Since your grapes are growing along a fence line-they might be a domesticated grape that someone planted years ago and they've simply held on through the years.

Another smaller type of grape that grows wild here are Possum Grapes. They taste similar to Fox Grapes-both are quite tart. But Possum Grapes typically grow in the woods instead of along creek banks. Does your county have a County Extension office? If so-I bet they could help you verify what type of grape you've found.

Blind Pig The Acorn

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All at www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

hi...this is great. I just found along a fence a series of small purple grapes almost identical to the ones in your picture. They are purple, look ripe, but are pretty sour.

First, what kind of grapes are those? Concord?

Second, when do they ripen? Am I early and is that why they are sour?

Last,they seem wild and I want em!!!!

My nanny used to make grape juice fromt he small vine we had in our yard. her name was Mrs. Shell and she lived down the street.

Reminds me of helping my grandma can. My job was washing the jars with hot water and rinsing them out. They would be all lined up upside down on towels on the porch in the sun. We would pick early dewberries and wild plums and make jelly. I remember when My other grandma introduced me to Sure-jell and I couldn't wait to tell my grandma Glady's about it...I was so amazed. I think I was about 10 or 11.

I so enjoyed the story from Miss Ethelene Dyer Jones. Some of my aunt's friends came across the gap in ox carts from Choestoe. Love that area and it's history.

We used to pick fox grapes, to make jelly, along the branches (creeks) in Macon Co. Nothing better on a hot biscuit than home churned butter and fox grape jam. And Sure-Jell, how did we ever get manage before that came along. I have found the flavor to be better using it. Seems like I always overcooked jams and jellies before that.

Tipper: What a neat story and a reminder of past days.

What a fun childhood you had. I love the stool. It sounded like you might have had an experience with being "careful not to fall." It must have been great fun to pick the berries. My mother put up blackberry jelly following a recipe very similar to yours in a previous post. Enjoy what' left of summer. Fall is approaching in the mountains.

I really enjoyed this story.

This was so enjoyable! Brings back memories of days in the kitchen with mom and grandma, making jellies. No grape in our neck of the woods though.

I loved reading about making Grape juice and grape jelly, it is hard work! Nice to know that this is almost the same method I use for mine as I am self taught. Surejell definitely makes it a lot quicker. I usually make the juice and let it sit in the fridge for the acid crystals to form and be left behind, then make it into jelly.

You're making me think about what hard work is. This was a great story about your childhood. Lovely images, too, Tipper.

Tipper, thanks for stopping by, so glad you did. So you live down the road from Clay's, what a small blog world. My parents have been up there for over 25 years & love the area too. My mama cooks all the veggies still, cans, & also does jams & jellies. Wish I had learned more from her, she still does it all for us.

Nice to meet you!

Mz. Ethelene sure took me right there in the kitchen with here watching her make up the juice and the jellies. Momma had a kind of cone shaped sieve and a wooden stick for it that she would squash up the grapes for the juice to make the jelly... unless she wanted jam and then she would add extra pushing to get more of the meat of the grapes through to make jam. I think one of the prettiest colors in the world is the clear purple of the homemade grape jelly. Seeing that I get hungry for some fresh biscuits to put it on. Thanks to you Tipper for putting Ethelen's story on for us to share and take a walk back in time.



I certainly enjoy Ethelene's story. It brought back memories of my childhood. We didn't have grapes, but did make jelly out of wild raspberries, thimbleberries and blackberries. Our can (a honey can) was strapped onto our waists with binder twine and off we went to search the pine root fences for the delicious berries.

We too used the jars with the rubber sealer and the zinc ring. Mom still has a lot of quarts of these old jars.

I always enjoy my visits here. Your posts always take me back in time and I feel like I'm back there.

Have a great week, my friend.

Tipper, what beautiful descriptions Ethelene uses! I can see the grapes and the filled jars of jelly and juice. She must be a fine writer.

I can feel the beauty and sincerity of saying of grace over the fine home grown and preserved food, not the same as grace over a big mac, is it?

I love the feeling of accomplishment when I see the filled jars sitting on my counter in the kitchen!

Back to school today, bet you miss Chitter and chatter.

As usual I enjoyed the visit and the memories that your writings left in my head.

Thank You!

Loved the story, Tipper. Thanks for sharing it.
It took me back in time to yesterdays kitchens and cellars. I could see the steaming pots and jar lined shelves of the cellar.
Amazing how words and imagination work together.

Tipper, I really enjoyed the story telling of Miss Ethelene Dyer Jones.

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