Concord grapes – the sweet smell of summer

 Our harvest of concord grapes was plentiful.  With pans and trays of the purple grapes everywhere, the sweet smell of summer has been wafting through our kitchen.   Their fresh aroma is strong and intoxicating, and it strengthens as the grapes simmer on the stove, crack open, and release their juices.  For now we’re enjoying a deliciously flavorful concord grape sorbet that melts in the mouth — a small taste goes a long way.  It’s a deep, dark color of rich purple; almost (but not quite) too beautiful to eat.  And we also have a plethora of concord jelly ready for the upcoming months.    When the snow is piled around and the temperatures are cold, we’ll open a jar of grape jelly and be quickly transported back to the waning days of summer.

Concord grape harvest

Concord grapes_StaatsThe end of August signals the start of harvest time for many fruits and vegetables.  Our small garden has done well, yielding a bounty of cherry tomatoes and fragrant and delicious basil.  But over this past weekend we harvested concord grapes.  Our one large vine gave us way more grapes than I’d ever imagined.   Their sweet scent filled the kitchen as we worked.   They are a beautiful color when picked, yet once they are squeezed and the seeds removed, their juice is a rich, deep maroon color.  As careful as we were, our hands took on this same color and smell.  We now have a scrumptious concord grape sorbet in the freezer, and a collection of freezer jam waiting for us to unleash the smell of late summer when the winter snow is falling.