Therese traded me grapes for wheat not long ago. She asked me the day before she was going to pick them, 'How much do you want?'
'I don't know, get me like 2 gallons.'
Did she get me 2 gallons? No. She got me probably 6 gallons. I used them to make grape butter (same concept as apple butter but with grapes, it turned out more like syrup than anything,) grape jelly, raisins, and grape juice. I just build the dryer for the raisins yesterday; I finally turned the last of the grapes into juice today. The jelly wasn't 'challenge legal' so I've already started sharing jars with friends and family.
We had family dinner this past Thursday; I came home with a bag of tomatoes. Today I canned tomatoes, yellow squash, and a couple of jars of pickles (I saved the leftover sauce from the bread and butter pickles when Kathy and I canned.) I also froze cantaloupe from my garden, and winnowed several pounds of wheat.
Idle time watching TV is spent picking apart wheat grain heads. I have 15lbs of unprocessed grain yet to go.
I also made a bit of a discovery today. When I collected the elderberries a couple weeks ago I took about a third of them and just cooked them down, no sugar added. I was looking for a savory or herbal flavor instead of something sweet. When I processed them I squeezed the cooked pulp to get all the goodness out of it. Today I was scrounging around for as many jars as I could find, and looked at that jar of elderberry essence. I found a good layer of oil on top of the jar. I decanted it off - probably only a few tablespoons were there but it has a very distinct flavor profile. It is almost like olive oil but it has a more complex flavor. It has a floral front and a dry finish. One of my favorite things about these food challenges is getting the opportunity to experience foods that nobody really eats any more. I know where at least one more of these trees is, and plan to go pick the berries to make more oil.