Grapes to Raisins

I love to harvest our own produce.  Well, I love it when Bop harvests our produce and then I will process it some way.  This year we did not get many grapes from our vines.  They had been pruned back severely and did not produce as many as we had hoped.  Our neighbours, however, shared their bounty, and they had seedless grapes.

She told me she would dehydrate them, making them into raisins.  Then used them in the most wonderful butter tarts.  How could I resist?  I had to keep up to the “Jones” and try this myself.

Grape Harvest

Grape Harvest

Sitting in a sink full of water, stems and all, it looked like a pretty good haul.  It is a bit picky work and you do need to try and get all the little stems off of the grapes.  I know I missed some.

In the Dehydrator

The entire crop filled my four tray dehydrator.  I could almost taste the butter tarts already!

before-and-after-raisins

Before and After

Wow, real raisins.  You would not believe how sticky they were.  One dropped on the floor, bounced and stuck to the oven.  Needless to say, I ate that one.  From very full to almost overflowing trays of grapes, as you can see, they shrunk a good deal.  After all was said and done, I ended up with one full, medium sized, zip lock bag of raisins.  I will tuck them away and make my tarts and perhaps I will share, perhaps I won’t.

In My Garden

Growing up in the North, I was never much into gardening. Moving into southern BC Creston valley, where everything grows or so I am told, I need to learn a bit more. With all our renovations there was not much left over for plants but I picked up a few things for the kitchen. I have always wanted a herb garden so I planted rosemary; basil; thyme; oregano; sage and parsley. The oregano didn’t make it, not sure why, but everything else is doing fine. I had a chive plant that I brought with me and it is also growing like mad.

It is so much fun to just nip out to pick a few leaves to add to a salad or dinner.  The smell is amazing when you pick them, I always crush a tiny bit to release the aroma.  I love putting a fresh herb into infused water as well.  So refreshing.Fresh Herbs

With the plants doing so well, there is enough to clip and dry them for winter use.  Today’s harvest has a very full tray of parsley, one of sage, and a small amount of thyme and rosemary.

For chives the easiest way to save them for winter is to snip them with scissors into small ziplock bags or containers and pop them in the freezer.  They are fine enough that you can take them out frozen and sprinkle them directly on your salad or baked potato for a fresh taste in the winter.

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