Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ABC Wednesday - G is for Grape . . .

Glibly gazing towards Spring...


Grape Hyacinth
Muscari armeniacum
are early Spring blooming bulbs. Those in the photo above are those found occurring naturally. There are several varieties of Muscari - resulting in shades of light blue and white, and cultivars that are light pink/mauve, two-toned blue, etc.

Most bulbs should be planted in zones 3-9. They won't do well in extremely wet or dry conditions. Many of them have a pleasant aroma, that I've not detected. I look forward to having a greater number of them someday - and actually enjoying their fragrance!
They naturalize freely.




























I would love to provide you with much more information about this early flowering Spring bulb.
However, this link will give you practically EVERYTHING you'd ever want to know!






*****

Gleefully glazing towards breakfast...



Grape Jelly
(recipe from Practical Kitchen dot com)

5 lbs of grapes
Stem and thoroughly crush fully ripe grapes. Add 2 cups water.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Extract juice. You will have 6 1/2 cups fruit juice.

Set aside 4 1/2 cups sugar (Do Not Reduce Amount of Sugar)

Combine 1 box light fruit pectin crystals with 1/4 cup of the above sugar.

Slowly add Fruit Pectin mixture to prepared fruit or juice in saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in remaining sugar. Stir constantly as mixture returns to full rolling boil. Continue to stir and boil hard 1 minute. If sticking occurs reduce heat slightly but maintain the full rolling boil.

Remove from heat. Immediately pour jelly into warm, sterilized jars. Cover quickly with lids, apply screw bands until fingertip tight.

After jars are cool, test for seal. If you press the middle of the lid with your finger, the lid should be firm and curved down slightly in the center. If it springs up, the lid is not sealed. Refrigerate any unsealed jars after 24 hours and use within 3 weeks.

Makes 8 cups of yummy jelly.

(I cannot attest to the quality of this recipe, as I've not tried it - yet.)

*****

And Last but Not Least (!)

Gladly Gravitating to the t.v. re-runs...















Grape Nehi

as loved by Corporal Radar O'Reilly of MASH

You can buy yourself a bottle... just click this link!


Enjoy this little video below as a tribute!



Enjoy other ABC Wednesday posts by clicking this link!

Glad tidings for Giddy moments. ;-)

25 comments:

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous! Great choice for this week's G.

G is for....

Roger Owen Green said...

a trifecta of great grapes. i saw nehi and immediately thought of Radar. grape jelly is my 2nd fave, after strawberry jam.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Rosy said...

I never canned anything before, normally I just go ahead and make a compote out of my berries and forget the pectin.

Enjoy your G post and hope you 'll check out my G post too.

Darla said...

Cute, cute, cute! I haven't had a Nehi in ages!

Winchester Daily Photos said...

Beautiful flowers.

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous flowers and a fun post for the G Day! Always enjoy a smile, a chuckle along with the beauty! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!

Sylvia
ABC Team

leavesnbloom said...

I've never realised that they have a scent. I don't think I really appreciated the beauty of this little flower until I started taking macro photographs of it.

Rosemary said...

Gee this post is good!

helenmac said...

not a glimmer of grape hyacinth yet....so the MASH reprise was perfect for a G blog!
HelenMac, ABC Wednesday team

Shady Gardener said...

Thanks for your visits and leaving your comments. I had fun with this post, and I'll be over to visit yours! :-)

marina said...

Great post! lots of good "G"s....
Love the hyacinths, i have some poking out of the ground too...

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Marina, Thanks for your visit. :-)

leavesnbloom - do you have photos posted?

Cottage Tails said...

Here in new Zealand we are in autumn & I will be planting out Grape Hyacinth's this weekend. Enjoy yours in flower! happy spring to you.
Love Leanne

ShySongbird said...

I have Grape Hyacinths growing in my front garden and have a job keeping them under control, they spread so quickly but it doesn't matter how often I transfer some to the back garden they just don't want to know!

I loved Leaf Woman and her friend on the previous post :)

Shady Gardener said...

Leanne, Plant PLENTY of them! :-) Please tell me how things are in New Zealand.

Shy, You are fortunate that they want to spread so quickly! You would be a good neighbor! :-)

fairegarden said...

Hi Shady, very witty use of the letter G! Our garden came equipped with hundreds of grape hyacinths, I never realized they were scented. Must get the nose down there as photos are taken when they open. Some are showing color now, it won't be long. :-)
Frances

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Frances, I am also guilty of not knowing they have fragrance. Enjoy! :-)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I was out checking our grape hyacinths yesterday looking for signs of flowers, none so far. My little one is already asking if she can pick them. They've really started naturalizing in several areas of my garden. There's enough for the kids to pick and still lots to enjoy in the garden.

Shady Gardener said...

Catherine! Aren't you so fortunate that you have enough to spare for your children? :-) Happy Spring to you!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Great G post! My preference is for the grape hyacinths. I hope to see blooms soon.

Thanks for your comments on my critter post. Yes, I do have to be careful about moving by the window. They don't hang out for long at any one feeding anyway, though. It helps to keep the light off.

I plan to put another photo up by my blog title at some point. I hadn't decided if it was going to be the yard again, or the first bloom, like I plan to put as the background photo.

I am so ready for spring to be here, as I know all of us are.

Gail said...

G is for good people like you, great gardens and soon we shall see the grape hyacinths! xxoogail

Nutty Gnome said...

I always thought grape nehi was an invented drink! (you can't advertise on the BBC, so they have lots of invented names for stuff!)

We have lots of grape hyacinths in the garden, but they're only just begining to pop up - everything is a bout 2 weeks later than usual this year.

Mild moment of confusion over the grape jelly there though. Your jelly is our jam and our jelly is your jello!!! :)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Sue, You are so good about posting often and about all that's going on over there. Perhaps we'll be able to get together sometime this Spring or Summer? I'll let you know the next time we travel West. :-)

Hi Gail - G for Gail. :-) You are sweet.

Liz, If things are late, YOU are appreciating them!! Last year, everything was early here. At this time, there were little crocus flowers blooming in the grass... It's always an interesting situation - Spring. :-)

I love the differences in our language. Our jam has the fruit in it. Our jelly is just the juice made into an easy spread, and our jello - wiggly collagen with juice flavor. lol.

Is your work progressing on your tea house? And what about the garden shed??

catmint said...

good post full of g's - grape hyacinths naturalized in my spring garden too.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Liz, Would you post your picture?