Our friends had told us the grapes were ready to start harvesting. Yes, yes they are!
It wasn't until Thursday I was able to get photos and video uploaded to show the flash flood we had Tuesday while we were out there. The arroyo is dry 99% of the year, but we happened to be there during the 1% it wasn't. Here's the video I shared:
We both came home with mild cold symptoms but Ivan's has grown into a full-blown head cold. That didn't stop him from going to the lot on Friday with Charlie and another guy to weed whack, mow and tame the jungle that was there.
They've also got the curb and gutters in on both sides of the new costanera along the Rio San Antonio:
While Ivan was working over there, I was busy at home with the huge bag of grapes we brought back with us. I made two batches of jelly, one using a package of Sure-Jell I'd brought from the U.S. and the other using the recipe given by several older women here who don't use any pectin at all but simply cook the juice and sugar down until it starts to thicken (which takes a sweet FOREVER, by the way). I didn't bring canning jars with me, thinking I could buy them here. WRONG. So I've been saving jars (from olives, pickles, jam...) and used wax to seal the jelly in -- hope that it works! I'd never made grape jelly before and wasn't sure what to expect. It seems to me that the flavor of the no-pectin jelly is extremely intense, almost medicinal, while the Sure-Jell batch seems rather wimpy compared to it. I think I need to try again, aiming for a middle ground.
(no pectin jelly on the left, Sure-Jell on the right)
But that will have to wait since we're heading for Uruguay and our annual missionary conference! NOT looking forward to the travel part (15 or more hour trip) but I am excited about seeing the other missionaries... and singing in ENGLISH! I'll know all the words! WOOT!
So this weekend has been a busy one preparing for the trip, getting the annual report finished, rounding up all the stuff we need to take, packing...
But I did want to share something else that happened that is WAY cool! Two years ago we had our conference nearby in Bialet Masset and when I was admiring a plant, one of the staff offered me a cutting. And this week it finally BLOOMED!!!
That's all for this week. I doubt I'll be able to post next week since we'll be traveling back from conference, so I'll meet you back here in two weeks for the next installment of Project 365!