When Life Hands You Mustang Grapes, You Make Wine
UPDATE: I can NOT get over the irony of this y'all! On Tuesday in between wonderful bursts of thunderstorms and glorious rain, I took my two granddaughters Kaidence and Kamryn with me to pick Mustang grapes along the neighbor's fence line. They had a great time picking grapes and watching for snakes but we did'nt have enough time to process them into jelly, so that evening I boiled the grapes and added sugar waiting for their return to the ranch in the days ahead to finish making jelly. Well, I just checked this article for the grape jelly recipe ( although the article is really about wine- lol) and realized I picked these grapes EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO FROM THE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE! Crazy fun right? Maybe not as fun as making wine and jelly, but FUN nonet the less ENJOY!
I love this time of summer, perusing the Victoria Farmer's Market early in the morning for the latest in homegrown vegetables, tilling the last of the fruits of our labor in our own garden in the evenings, and moments like yesterday, when I stopped to say hello to three neighbors who were picking wild mustang grapes along the fence line of our rural roads.
The Yancey Family
Jo wouldn't let me take her photograph, a shy grandmother who finally submitted to a photo of her hands holding a fraction of the bounty that she and her two grandsons, Trevor and Trenton had plucked from the wild.
Mustang Grape Wine
I had pulled over on the side of the road where they were picking to explain, while I grabbed my camera, how much I enjoyed seeing Jo and her grandsons out harvesting grapes, not letting nature's bounty going to waste.
It was the first time I had met the Yanceys but I hope it won't be the last.
Trevor, the oldest grandson at 16, might not even realize how much it must mean to his grandmother to have him there alongside Trenton, 13, even if they are toiling in the sun. These are the times with their grandmother they will likely never forget.
Jo Yancey, you are an angel.
I assumed that Jo would be making mustang jelly with her grandsons with their bag of wild grapes. She smiled a shy smile and paused when I asked her about it. She was about to say something when I read her face again and realized it was a sly smile too!
" Oh my God, are you making wine!?" I exclaimed. She shook her head, looking at the ground, smiling. "Yes."
We all laughed.
When are mustang grapes ready to pull?
"Tell them it's way too late to pick the grapes now," Trevor teases. It is in fact, the perfect time to pick mustang grapes, if, you happen upon them.
I will however keep my promise to Trevor and not disclose to you, dear reader, the secret location of the grapes that at this very moment are likely in the process of becoming a bottle of Yancey's finest.
Here is how to make mustang grape wine if you find some on your own, compliments of Texas Wes Adams on Youtube.
And if you're grandma isn't a connoisseur like Jo, here is a video for Mustang Grape Jelly from Renee Notle on Youtube.
Thank you Jo, Trevor and Trenton. My day was made. Now about that wine...
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