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Monday Confessional: The Bumbling Duo


{Ahhhh, the majestic sight of freshly sealed 1/2 gallon jars of grape juice!}

Last Saturday was grape juice and jelly making day at the Halverson homestead. Really, the only time of year I truly embrace my inner pioneer days spirit and make use of the fruits of our fields (aka: backyard.) As always, my mother came over to help me (because she is a saint), and together, we managed to harvest all of the grapes, make 4 batches of jelly, can six 1/2 gallon and four quart jars of juice, AND create a number of fiascos that had us laughing and crying throughout the whole day. 

First of all, while clearing out my sink to fill jars with hot water in preparation for hot grape juice, I grabbed an empty soup can by the lip and deeply sliced the inside of my thumb below the first joint. Probably the worst cut I've ever had... I might have even taken myself to the hospital for a couple of stitches if it hadn't been a Saturday and we didn't have Kaiser insurance (a combination that would have equated to a full day wasted in the waiting room.) Instead Mum bandaged me up and I tried to only use one hand the rest of the day. It didn't work. Thumbs are important, guys. 

Next, after cleaning up my hand, we decided to check on the first batch of grapes we had started steaming and discovered we'd forgotten to make sure the tube coming out the bottom of the steamer was squeezed shut, so hot grape juice was pouring across my concrete back patio and into the grass. TRAGEDY! We quickly closed it and mourned the loss of propably a quart of juice. Not the best start to our day!

After filling all of my 1/2 gallon jars without incident, we decided to move on to jelly and made our first double batch on my stove inside. I like to turn my jars over to help them seal after filling, and it was during this process that fiasco #3 occurred; a newly filled quart jar of hot jelly was accidentally dropped on the counter while being turned over and the lid hadn't been put on properly so it popped off and the entire contents poured all over the counter, engulfing all the other jars in a sticky mess, seeping through the tea towel they were all sitting on and oozing under my toaster. ANOTHER TRAGEDY! Homemade grape jelly is like GOLD in our house! Mum and I were horrifed but couldn't stop laughing, what were the odds?!!  

After that mess was cleaned up, I decided I needed to make an iced coffee and poured the last of the pot Russ had brewed into a tall glass and went to the fridge to get milk and ice. When I turned back around coffee was all over my other kitchen counter... the glass had cracked and while I was sad to have to toss it, the worst part was that there was no more coffee! Why, God? Why?!

After finishing laughing over our bumbled day, Mum had to head home and I decided to hold off on making my second double batch of jelly. I set aside the 10 cups of grape juice I'd steamed for it in my large cooking pot sitting ready on the stove, and put the lid on to keep till the next day. I did want to finish steaming the last of the grapes into more juice though, so I turned on my small saucepan of lid seals to simmer and it was only AN HOUR LATER, while wiping down my entire kitchen, that I discovered I'd turned the wrong burner on and had been slowly simmering away my reserved grape juice instead. 

Dang pioneer spirit! Look where it led me! I'd call the whole day a giant fail except, look at all my pretty jars all filled up and looking delicious! I think I still came out ahead ;)

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