Friday, April 08, 2011

G is for Grape.



-----We made a chicken dish with artichokes and grapes from an old cookbook recently. The dish also contained mushrooms and bacon. It was excellent. :-)
-----I did not know that there are grape mentos (part of a pack with assorted flavors).
-----About 3 years ago there was a study that said eating a little bit of frozen grape powder may help prevent colon cancer. I am not sure if anything else was found out about this.
-----When I see "Columbine Holiday" grapes at the store it really makes me pause. Since Columbine Vineyards is a pretty old company, I am assuming these were named before the infamous shooting occurred.

-----Grape Pie. The link for the Lemon Verbena Ice Cream is broken. Since the ice cream recipe link is broken, I found another recipe for it by chef David Lebovitz. 
-----Violet Dowda's Green Grape Pie.
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Hopefully, we will actually get grape arbors built this year. I want to wait until AFTER tornado/severe storm season is over.



Licensed Photo. DO NOT COPY.
"Ice Wine Grapes"
Taken by Anita of Anita's Web Design.

Within the next few years, we are considering:
1. Marechel Foch. Often called just "Foch." It will be used to make red wine. It can also be used to make a fresh,uncooked grape juice that is said to taste much like sweet cherry juice.
2. Leon Millot. To be used for red wine and for juice.
3. New York Muscat....for red wine, table grapes and juice.
4. Landot Noir....red wine...similar body and flavor to Merlot.
5. Caberbet Sauvignon....one of the favorites here at our house.
6. Niagra....table grapes, white wine, jam, juice.
7. Aurore....table grapes and white wine
8. Riesling
9. Einset....Seedless Red Table Grape with a strawberry-like flavor

There are a couple of others. I am particularly interested in grapes grown by Native Americans.

Grapes are a long-term investment. Marechel Foch vines, for instance, can survive for 50 years or more (if well cared for).

I hope that I have picked wisely and that we come up with a really sturdy plan for a homemade arbor (grapevines are really strong and I would hate to have to repair with growing vines on the arbor). Obviously, not wanting to have to repair the arbors is why I want wait until after storm season.

Husband is a sculptor so he wants to do the pruning to start off with....kind of comes naturally to him. :-) I am researching the different methods recommended for each of our choices...and he seems to understand how you do each instantly. Sometimes, I wish my brain worked like that...but I have problems visualizing things.

I recommend:
"Reader's Digest Guide to Gardening" (published 1978) for a good look at the basics of how to care for grapes. I can actually understand what is being said in this text....some of the descriptions of training and pruning online are so complex. I also like that there are so many illustrations...especially for the pruning. I got my copy at a thrift store....it is cherished because my Mother uses that same book for a lot of her gardening projects.


I advise:
Realize that there will be some mistakes on plant websites....watch for when the wrong plant is being described. Check and re-check zones, flaws, advice, etc. on multiple sites. I think this has helped me a LOT in my grape choices. In researching, I am coming up with more and more ways to use the grapes (and lots of improvements on the wine-making process).

Legalities:
If you don't know, you can not make anything beyond wine.....no brandy, etc. Unless you live in New Zealand, distillation is illegal.

This a project is a part of furthering my urban farming education, getting more self-sustaining and a bunch of other goals. :-) Like Scott Peck and his former wife used to say, "everything is over-determined."
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This is a photo that I did of a flower arrangement for our house. I call the photo "Welch Indian." There is a feather in it that has personal significance to me...a memorial to a departed loved one (who was an Indian). The bottle was a wedding present...when my in-laws found I couldn't drink the wine they gave us, they sent me grape juice...when I drank the grape juice, I turned the bottle into a vase. I am a very sentimental person. :-)

The flowers  in the vase & the raspberry branches  are faux .  The blossom in front is a tiger lily that  was flawed , so I pulled it from another arrangement. I generally use my real flowers until they can't be used any more...they still look good in some photos even when they are wilted or dead. I often mix real flowers & fake ones.

Anyway...I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into what I like to do with flower arrangements.  I am a tad compulsive about making sure I have flowers in the house. I really love flowers & have been told that there are flowers everywhere in my house.

Unfortunately, this feather is now missing part and split in three places....that would be what happens when one has a dog. I have no idea how she got it out of the arrangement but, as a puppy, this is one of the things that Doggie took and hid under the bed to pull apart.
I plan to do some sort of arrangement with it again at some point. Hmm.
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---I have never had mutton and it should be interesting trying to find it (ALL the stores here have stopped carrying lamb and I haven't seen it at the meat market either).
---The biryani masala paste will also be something I have to look around for. I do not know of an Indian store here and had no luck finding this product on Amazon. It is made by Priya and, if all else fails, I can try mixing up a bit of each of the ingredients (I am weird like that). The Priya site did not list where I can get it...so, I will have to e-mail them asking for where it is distributed to and approximate U.S. cost.
---I have plenty of dania (coriander seeds).
---Believe it or not, plain yogurt is also hard to get here....that is ridiculous. I have not been to a store here in years that has plain yogurt. I am going to try a health food store next.  
---In the United States, sultanas are Thompson Seedless Grapes.
---Though it is not often the case, I am wondering if "sultanas" here refers to raisins (golden raisins). "Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the cashew nuts and sultanas until they swell." I don't think grapes really swell...so, as I said, I am assuming this recipe is referring to raisins.

2 comments:

Thomas said...

A "columbine" is a kind of flower. I'm sure the word has been around for centuries.

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

Yes, still "Columbine" and the fact that the word "holiday" is after that reminds me of the Gwar song "Happy Death Day." I believe I did look it up at one point and that the Columbine Holiday Grape definitely came before the massacre.

:-)



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