Grape Jelly

Grape Jelly

20191003_1018412I can’t help but think of my Gramma Pete when I look at a jar of  grape jelly.  She came frequently with my folks to visit us and she would always bring a jar of grape jelly with her.  Now mind you this was not a small jar of jelly, but one of those gigantic family sizes. There were only 4 of us so it’s not like we would go through a ton of it.  It wasn’t my favorite type of jelly and I’m not really sure if it was Jon’s, Justin’s or Brett’s favorite.  I never really understood what she was thinking- did we not have grape jelly in our stores in MI or IL, did we need to stock up in case of something, maybe it was a stocking up thing left over from her being a single mom during the depression?  But, we always knew when gram was coming to visit there would be a jar of grape jelly coming along with her.  

Now I must confess.  We always had a good chuckle.  I think I remember my mom and the boys rolling their eyes when she pulled it out of the sack and put it on the kitchen counter.  I think I probably even took more than several jars to our church’s food pantry.  But, it was gramma bringing it.  We all absolutely loved and adored her and in my eyes, even as an adult, she could do nothing wrong.  I idolized her and as many granddaughters do, I had a very special relationship with her my entire life (I pray for the same relationship with our granddaughters).  She was a gem!!  So it was okay that she brought it and we graciously ooohed and aahhed over it and thanked her for it.

Here’s my confession- I always said as I get older I want to be just like my gramma Pete and I must confess the apple did not fall far from the tree.  I find myself taking on our visits to them what our sons and daughter-in-laws and probably our 8 y.o. granddaughter find totally absurd and useless questioning “why did gramma bring this”? Thank goodness I still have a few years with our 2 y.o. granddaughter before she starts wondering.  I know there are eyes rolled and chuckles being had. But, I understand now why she might have brought that grape jelly from the junk store at the corner.  She loved us endlessly, she wanted to bring us something we could use, she must remember how much I loved my PB & J toast when I would stay overnight and it was her way of showing how much we all meant to her, and just in case there was no grape jelly to be had in IL and MI we would at least have some.  So to our sons, daughter-in-laws and granddaughters remember I didn’t fall far from the Gramma Pete tree!  

We were blessed to have her in our lives well into our sons high school years!  So Gramma Pete from all of us… Here’s to you…. I’m sorry it isn’t Welch’s.  I can’t look at a jar of grape jelly without thinking of you!  


Batch #21

Batch #21


Wow it’s been a while since we’ve done any brewing.  Being retired really takes a lot of time getting everything done.  But, we’ve found a hole in our schedule that gives us a couple of weeks at home to brew, wait and bottle.

Today’s batch is another Smash Ale but with a little bit of a citrus twist- literally a twist of fresh limes and then some dried tangerines.  Our brewmaster is being creative with this one by adding some wonderful Cuban honey to add just a little extra sweetness.  Hmmmm I’m thinking this may be a little bit sweet and sour on the palate.  It’s a 2 fermentation brew but with each fermentation taking only a week it’ll still only be about 2 weeks and we’ll be ready to bottle.  I’m excited about this one since I do love a wonderful fruity tasting beer, like a shandy.  Oh and the name- Caribe Rompió Cítricos- Caribbean Smashed Citrus! Interpret it as you desire!

Update: September 1, 2019

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It’s been a quick two weeks since brew day.  Last week after 1 week of fermentation the beer was dry hopped and our master brewer added some tangerine peel and a bit of rum-Caribbean rum of course!  After another week of fermentation it’s time to bottle.  First blush the brew has a nice medium amber color, not too dark, not too light.  First taste by both our master brewer and chief bottler and labeler agreed that the hops through it in another direction, giving it just a little bit of a bitter taste.  Taste buds are thrown in a different direction knowing that there is honey in it you’d expect it to be sweeter.  The hops definitely balance off the sweetness of the honey taking it to a nice medium balance.  We’ve still got another 2 weeks now of bottle fermentation before our final taste!  Just in time to share with our family up north!  Oh, and the ABV- a perfect 4.37%.  Just right for those that enjoy a lighter beer.


Live in the moment! — Persevere

We all live very complex and stressful lives. We have to balance our family lives, our work lives, our school lives, our outside activities, etc. We spend too much time dwelling on the past. As well as way too much time worrying about the future and what might happen. I challenge you to make a […]

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FL thunderstorms and lightening are frightening. Last night we experienced it first had as a bolt of lightening and ginormous clap of thunder hit at the same time plunging us into darkness. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, changed our pants (lol) we discovered our entire block was out. Jon found the top of the Street light across the street in our yard, gigantic pieces of glass from the globe everywhere and the post base basically shattered with blocks of concrete blown into the street! The transformer next door was mushroomed with oil seeping  out. So here we were at midnight standing in the rain with no lights, no a.c. drinking an evening libation with our neighbors and mulling over the power of that storm. Who ever said life is boring?