Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fruits of Autumn

We took the dogs and ourselves for our morning walk, and the most delicious smell permeated the air down by the barn. It was sweet and earthy, and I could hear the chatter of a squirrel in the trees above us trying his best to scare us away. He actually dropped a couple of hickory nuts down our way in hopes of hitting one of us on the head.

I continue to look for the source of the that intoxicating smell, and then I saw the vine and the clusters of deep bronze to purple fruit. No wonder the squirrel was so angry, he wanted all those muscadine grapes for himself.
For those of you who have never had a muscadine, you have missed quite a treat. There are wild muscadine vines all over our property, but the summer has been so hot that most of the green ones had dropped off the vines. Why these had clung to the vine I have no idea, just a little gift from Mother Nature I suppose. The skins are thick but the flesh is juicy and sweet with a little bite of tartness. In years past, when the vines have been loaded, I made muscadine jelly. I am here to tell you, muscadine jelly on hot biscuits is a southern delight.

I can remember when I was just a kid, my older brothers would pick muscadines for my mom so that she could make jelly. What they never told her, they always kept a quart or so for themselves..... and they would sneak out back and make muscadine wine in a mason jar.
They would tie fishing line around the neck of the jar and then slowly lower it down into an old well out back.
I once caught them sipping the wine and they gave me a dollar not to tell our mom. I know, I was such an easy bribe, I was only 5 or 6 years old. There surely would have been hell to pay had my mom known about their wine making venture!

There were not enough of the wild grapes for jelly making today, but there were enough for a mid-walk treat. Wish I could share them with you all to night, or at least share the aroma of those warm muscadines hanging in the September sun. The apples are starting to get those deep red streaks, just a few more weeks, fresh apple pie! The last fruits of autumn for us will be persimmons......that is if the deer and raccoons don't eat them all! Just wish there had been more muscadines.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like wonderful grapes! Maybe bottling the scent for a natural perfume would be good?