Thursday, October 06, 2011

moon juice

They are seedless table grapes of an unknown variety.  Our next door neighbors planted them shortly after moving in, purely for ornamental reasons.  The vines have found that our side of the fence is sunnier, and October dawned on bushels and bushels of grapes on our side of the fence.
What to do?

green grapes

We were both under the impression that table grapes cannot be juiced, but I felt guilty about wasting them, so we asked around and read around and all that we could find for certain was that green table grapes have a considerably lower sugar content than the juicing grapes we both grew up with.
In the end, I had compulsively acquired a steam-juicer, and we decided we had nothing to lose.

And so I found myself, on an overfull Monday, sitting in my garage plucking grapes from their bunches, one at a time, one of those prosaic moments that allow my brain to wander and race.  The light in the garage was just so that each grape seemed like a little chinese lantern, with a quality of translucency that captured every iota of incidental light.  With their often freckled faces, the grapes began to remind me of moons, glowing with borrowed light and reminding me of the vast expanses of creation.

Then I began to wonder if the process of creating and placing the moon just so was anything near as sticky or labor intensive as plucking 10,000 grapes and collecting them in a bucket.  I don't buy the idea that the creation of worlds without end was effortless or instant.  A world like mine doesn't come together without exceeding care.  And most things that are worth doing have unpleasant parts, like my sticky fingers.

white grape juice

In the end, our grape juice was blush, and perfectly palateable.  If we ever get all the grapes picked and processed we shall be swimming in the stuff.  But I will always look at it and think of the moon and its Maker and His sticky fingers.

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