* we’ve not had any mist yet, and the fruitfulness SURE isn’t mellow. It’s kind of a last-minute explosion of ‘Get me in! Get me in! The Frosts are coming!’
Lucky for me, we have some things that like frost. I’m thinking of my parsnips, which I cannot wait to taste!
When you have 160 vines and the grapes they produce, and you don’t make wine because it tastes worse than acid, then you have a lot of storing to do. Every time a milk bottle comes up for service, I’m filling it with a litre of grape juice and sticking it in the freezer. The rest go for grape jelly (delicious… if I were to have a PB and black grape jelly buttie every day, I’d be happy for the rest of my life) and in my desperate attempts to do something else with them, I made a David Lebovitz grape sorbet. I love David Lebovitz. He has a life like mine, but better. He’s an ex-chef turned cookery writer. He lives in Paris and his blog is wonderful. The grape sorbet was very easy and very delicious. I’m off out with my secateurs in a minute to make more. I wonder how much I will need to make?
I like to think of ‘well, I’d like to have some if such-and-such came to stay’ – or ‘won’t it be nice, next summer, before the grapes are in, to have grape sorbet?’ but I also have to think in terms of my Cuisinart ice-cream maker, which can only make one, maybe two batches a day. And I need to think of my freezer.
I like thinking of my freezer. It is nearly full. A 400l freezer at full capacity. That’s immense. It’s full of home-grown stuff, too. There are a couple of packets of frozen peas and carrots (I just cannot get those right in the garden. Here’s to next year!) because I’m going to de-frost my little fridge freezer today in preparation for MORE. But 400 cubic litres of tomatoes, cherries, courgettes, ratatouille, peaches, plums, apples, pears, quinces, beans, broad beans, baby borlotti beans, grape juice, grape sorbet, walnuts … it’s like a freezer full of summer! I also got the address yesterday of a man who will press your walnuts for you (I know that sounds painful, gentlemen!) and turn them into oil. Wonderful.
It’s also kind of the end of the harvest year and I’m waiting for a cold evening to plan out next year’s harvest. It’s kind of like a reflection on fruitfulness past. There are a whole load things more that I’d like to grow. I just fear for my back and my capacity to collect them all in! It’s kind of the French thing to have a ‘vendange’ where you harvest grapes, bring all your friends and family around to collect in all your grapes and give them a mighty lunch in reward. Maybe I should do this!