🍇 Bubbling in my Cauldron - Fresh Concord Grape Sorbet 🍦🍇
With a nutty twist!
Ah, there's nothing quite as enchanting as the aroma of Concord grapes in the crisp embrace of fall. 🍇 Childhood memories woven into the tendrils of grapevines; moments shared with loved ones among the bounty of autumn.
Is there anything more fragrant and lovely in the fall than an arbor full of Concord grapes? Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the picking of them first with my sister at a lovely farm in Hunting Valley and then in the old, abandoned orchard in the back behind my store where the vines tangoed wildly with the overgrown honeysuckle and lilac bushes that had been allowed to flourish for years without interference.
Some of the best memories that I share with my son are of the special activities we would do based upon the seasons. There were special days where there was never any question as to what we were going to do. For example, as soon as that free Friday in October rolled around, we'd head off to one of the many "pick your own" orchards in the area and we'd go hunting for Indian corn, pumpkins and grapes. We'd take along a picnic and stuff more grapes than we could possibly eat at once into our mouths. Goddess, there is nothing like the smell of them. They are sweet and fruity but manage to be musky and sensual, all at the same time.
Wonderful Autumn Memories
Alex was home-schooled so the year he got his temporary license, we drove out to the farm to pick them together but then we went to Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland which is where I taught him to drive. Lakeview is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Midwest and is a vast swath of acreage filled with magnificent old gravestones, tombs and mausoleums. It is also home to a pretty famous arboretum, so the seasonal displays are gorgeous. It is also the best place in the city to teach a kid to drive; filled with hills and steep turns everywhere, there's no better place. Accompanied by our fresh grapes, cheese sandwiches, cameras and Anne Rices "The Vampire Lestat", we spent one whole season perfecting the art of driving. By the time the leaves had all fallen and the first snow was dusting the headstones, Alex had turned into a very skilled motorist.
I think that in the above pic he's about 15, but now Alex is grown with a wife and new son of his own. We still share the love of those grapes and that gorgeous cemetery. It may seem weird, but cemeteries are our place. If he's got something he's thinking about sometimes we'll meet up on the hill that overlooks the entire city to talk.
He grabbed my heart when he texted me several years ago from San Diego..."Mom, I just bought some Concord grapes, and they made me think of you and Anne Rice. It’s so sweet that our shared love for those Concord grapes and that magnificent cemetery remains. It's our special place, a hill overlooking the city, where we meet to share thoughts and stories.
Recipe - Fresh Concord Grape Sorbet with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (Optional)
Last week, I stumbled upon a recipe for Concord Grape Sorbet, and immediately thought of Alex. Now that they’ve moved home, I plan to take him, and our grandson, grape picking and pumpkin hunting, and I can't wait to serve them this delightful sorbet. Of course, I couldn't resist adding my own twist to the recipe.
I wish I could say I toiled over it for hours, but the grapes are at their peak right now, and their flavor needed little coaxing. If you don't have anise hyssop, consider trying toasted fennel seeds and fennel pollen, as my sister suggested. And whatever you do, don't forget the Reese's peanut butter cups, as I discovered,