It’s A Grape Day!

So, I have about a million (or more) things to do today, but I need a break, so I’m blogging. Makes sense, right? You should see my living room right now. Toys and laundry are everywhere. I can get to that tomorrow…

First of all, my baby girl turned 5 this week!!!! I can hardly believe it! That is part of the reason why I’m so busy. We’re having her birthday party tonight. The poor thing…I have discovered that her birthday will always fall right around Opening Day of deer hunting season. So, we have to squeeze her party in on a Friday night. Oh well. It’ll be ok.

Hunting season…that’s another reason why things are so busy around here. Tomorrow is “Youth Day”. That means all the dads take their sons (or daughters) out to hunt. I don’t know if it’s really for the kids or the dads. All I know is that my guys have the hunting bug really bad! It’ll almost be a relief when the season does start! It’s like Christmas Eve around here folks!

So. I have discovered something. Grapes. Now, I’ve had grapes before. I go to the supermarket and buy them (only when they’re on sale, because…really…who can afford $3.99/pound when your kids can eat their weight in grapes???). However, this year, our family finally did something we’ve been saying we would do for years. Pick-Your-Own grapes!!

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It’s practically in our backyard. There is a vineyard in the town where we live. Here‘s their website if you’re interested. Their season is winding down, but let me tell you. If you’re ever in the area, around the end of August – first part of September, you MUST PICK THEIR GRAPES! They have Concord and Niagara. We didn’t care much for the Niagara grapes, but we loved the Concords. I have never had a grape fresh off the vine. Amazing!!!

The first time we picked grapes, we came home with a mere 5 pounds. Well, those didn’t last long at all. I made grape jelly and some grape juice (I have 2 recipes which I will share later). Since we had picked early, we decided to go back and get some more. We may have gotten a little carried away, and picked about 15 pounds. I made more jelly and more juice, but still had a lot leftover. That’s when a friend of mine told me about grape pie.

Grape pie. Heard of it? Me either.

It is delicious. I can’t even describe it. There are no words. Forget apple pie…cherry…blueberry…this takes the cake pie.

My friend gave me a couple of recipes, but I used this one from All Recipes…basically because the other one she gave me required quick cooking tapioca and I didn’t have any (and didn’t’ know what it was).

I took it to our Bible Study group that meets in a home on Sunday nights.  Now, if you’ve read any of my blogs, you may remember that my husband hates for me to use our group as “Guinea pigs” on my new recipes.  However, they’re our friends, so I think “who better to try things out on?”

As you might think…it was a huge hit.  A smashing success.  A triumph unlike any other.  Ok…maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but there was none left and a gentleman said it was the best pie he’s ever had…in his entire life…and I’m not going to say he was really old, but he was older than me…so there you go.  Plus, we didn’t get to bring any home 😦

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I was very sad when I figured out that there was no pie leftover and no more grapes at home.  So, when we found out that the vineyard was open for one more week…well, we just HAD to get a few (20) pounds, so I can make more juice, jelly and grape pie filling!!!!

That’s on my “To Do” list this weekend.  It may be a late Sunday night project.  But one thing I know…we WILL have more grape pie this winter!!  Yay!!!

Just a side note…on the recipe, if you have really sweet grapes, you will probably be able to cut down on the sugar.  The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups, but I could have used 1 cup or maybe even 3/4 cup, because the grapes are crazy sweet by themselves.  Also, make sure to cut vents in the top pie crust.  I did, but they weren’t very wide and they kind of baked closed and there was pie filling everywhere.  It was still delicious, but very messy and sticky.  As a precaution, next time I make the pie, I will also put a baking sheet on the second rack…just in case!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Take some time to spend it with family and friends.  To all of you hunters out there…Happy Hunting!!  May your aim be steady and arrows shoot straight!

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