I remember that most things on the farm were done with lots of people. This meant that those that help got to share. Veggies were hot water bath canned, and fruits into preserves or jelly’s all with teams of people – except for the wild grapes. That was my mom’s personal passion.
Now, you have to know that our mom could not cook. She could not boil a pot of water without burning it (no – seriously, she actually forgot about a pot of water on the stove once and melted the pot to the stove – to the day she died we never missed a chance to have that laugh at her expense on that one!), but she was determined to make wine out of those darn grapes.
I remember walking, or going on horseback, to pick the wild grapes in the lane. I also remember the huge smelly crock pots full of fermenting grapes in the basement. But for the life of me, I don’t remember a single bottle of wine? Grape jelly was aplenty, but this grew to be desperately hated by my mother. We would take great summer driving trips/vacations, and wherever we stopped for breakfast – mom would be the one blessed with the grape jelly! She also had the luck-of-the-Irish when it came to bent fork tines. That was her second curse of any dining out expedition.
( She had 3 of these in the large size in the basement just for her wine process.)
We would then, after the laughter subsided, play a rousing round of jelly, jelly who’s got the good jelly so mom wouldn’t be stuck with the grape. There was, however, nothing we could do about the bent fork tine. One of mom’s favorite sayings was, “The world is made up of grape jelly and bent fork tines.” On our vacations, this appeared to be incredibly accurate.
Reflecting over the years (and after many Saturday evening into our cups), I have learned from her to pay closer attention to the little things in life. She never did quite get a handle on the wine thing, but never stopped trying. I believe, in the cosmic scheme of things, that the universe or God was trying to tell her – through the use of the grape jelly – to never stop trying new things. She never did. Pass or fail didn’t matter; it was the effort put forth into it. The bent fork tine showed us that life is full of kinks, learn to live with it, and continue on. It was amusing that she was ALWAYS the one that got that special fork. Now, how odd is that?
My share for today is to go with the flow! Just because life gives you a bent fork tine or only grape jelly, it does not mean that you cannot use the two to try to make wine.
You can also check me out at: https://helbergfarmstories.com/ for fun stories from our farm.
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Paraproskodian sentence for this post:
I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila