Sour Grapes – in More Ways Than One

I discovered in the last few years that I can grow grapes in my garden, so I took a cutting from a relation’s successful grapevine, planted it on the sunniest side of my garden, and watched it develop.

It fruited in the second year but developed problems its third year. Because of the long cold spring, and a dull and very rainy harvesting season, the grapes were late to develop. The final blow came when Hurricane St. Jude blew down the fence I was using as a support trellis, leaving it hovering precariously over my neighbours’ pond, with the unripened grapes still attached. I was able to reach the grapes near the ground, but mostly they were dangling tantalizingly just out of reach. I most generously offered my neighbours some of my sour grapes, if they wanted to lean over and pick them from their side, but some days later when I went out there to inspect, I found that they had not taken up my offer – and who can blame them?

I  left the grapes to the last possible moment, hoping they would gradually ripen on the vine, but realized that this was never going to happen, once the temperature went down to 7 degrees. I picked masses of them, ate a few of the best, fattest ones (they were all tiny), and, although they were tart, and only about the size of a large pea, they weren’t too bad.

But what to do about the rest of them? An Italian who knows all about grape-growing in Italy, told me that if I left them indoors, they would gradually ripen. My experience, sadly, was that they shrivelled up or went off long before they ripened, and even putting them in a bowl of bananas didn’t seem to hasten the ripening process.

Did you know that green tomatoes can be ripened by putting them in a bag with bananas? Someone told me that last year, so I thought I would expand my knowledge base by experimenting with green grapes. Useless.

Then there are a few recipes where you add the grapes as they are into a meat stew. Apparently they give it a refreshing tang.

Eventually, I froze all the grapes in plastic boxes and saved them for a time when I might find a use for them.Well, I recently tried a Persian dish Gormeh Sabzi, where you use whole limes in a lamb or beef stew, with lots of herbs, and it was fantastic. So I might give grape and meat stew a whirl, though I suspect it might not be so nice with lots of pips in it. I suppose I could skim off the grapes after cooking.

The final suggestions I found were of the jammy, add-lots-of-sugar variety, adding cream to a sugary sweet. I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, so this is not advisable.

Do any of you know any other recipes using sour grapes no bigger than a currant?

Source: Sour Grapes – in More Ways Than One

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Blind Side

Today I’m delighted to host Jennie Ensor’s novel Blind Side, published on 23 July 2016 by Unbound. Jennie has a fine eye for character, and for creating an atmosphere of discomfort or even menace w…

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A Tribute to My Mother for Mother’s Day

The story of my mother’s interesting and varied life, before, during and after the War, travelling the world, her wise sayings, the music she liked and our relationship with some lovely old p…

Source: A Tribute to My Mother for Mother’s Day

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Why Make a Will?

Diana's Blog: Family Matters

How to Avoid Family Rows About Your Money

If you die tomorrow, will your property be divided in accordance with your wishes?

fighting over vase 1500 Fighting Over the Family Inheritance

Reasons for Making a Will: Don’t Leave Your Grieving Relatives Fighting Over the Inheritance

An unfair or inadequate Will can create lasting grievances.

If you do not make a Will, your estate will devolve according to the law relating to intestacy (Intestacy means not having a will). The consequence of intestacy is explained below and could be bad news for a number of reasons.

Broadly speaking , a Will disposes of everything which you own. Therefore it should be carefully worded, as it will affect not only the financial well-being of your family but also its harmony.

If your estate is substantial or complicated it would be worth asking a solicitor or qualified practitioner to prepare it, as a Solicitor is experienced in…

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Using Photographs to Design Products on Zazzle

How I Designed an Apron Decorated with a Christmas Cake

First I made a Christmas Cake with my grandson, and used some white icing and colored marzipan to decorate it, making a tree, some penguins and a rather nondescript black animal, intended to be a fox.

Then I took some photographs, and used the best one as a basis for the apron design.

Using the facilities on Zazzle, I designed the apron and added some wording.

Here’s the photo of the cake:

Christmas Cake 3

And here’s the finished product – an “I Love Yummy Home Cooking” Apron

I also designed a Tomato Apron and used the same photograph for a Poster and for a Shopping Tote:

tomatoes red 2

Five Red Tomatoes on the Vine

Here’s the Tomato Apron on Zazzle:

Do take a look at my other designs on Zazzle –

in my Zazzle Shop Called Glorious Confusion

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An English Brunch to Dream About

Just smell the bacon – isn’t your mouth watering?

Diana's Kitchen

I’m almost swooning just thinking about this!

It all started as I sat at my trusty computer and smelt bacon cooking as it wafted into my room from the kitchen. Full of hope and greed, I wandered through to the kitchen, only to find that my partner had cooked himself breakfast and eaten all the bacon without offering me any.

 That bacon smell is so pungent and so good that, some years ago, it actually caused my daughter to come off her year-long stint of being a vegetarian, but that’s a different story.

2014-10-09 11.54.14

Anyway, much saddened and disappointed, I looked around to see what was in the fridge, to give myself a mid-day treat. And this is what I found:

  • A small piece of supermarket flatbread with goats milk and caramellised onions
  • 2 Slices of bacon
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms

I put the flatbread in the oven for 10 minutes, and cooked…

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This Will Show Them!!

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