Nearly every fall, I make grape juice.
Nearly every fall, someone asks, “How did you make this?”, to which I reply, “With a steamer-juicer.”
And, nearly every fall, I end up trying to describe, with energetic but frequently inadequate hand motions, what exactly a steamer-juicer is.
Let confusion reign no longer! Here, in all its glory, is my juicer in action:
This is not a discovery I can claim any credit for whatsoever. My first steamer came from my grandmother. My mother-in-law taught me how to use it. (I have the BEST mother-in-law, ever. And all her sons are married off, so those of us lucky gals that caught ’em only have to share amongst ourselves! Ha!)
Concord grapes need to be steamed to make the best juice, in my opinion. Pressed grape juice is gritty. With this pretty puppy, you just load your washed grapes (stems and all!) into the perforated basket, make sure the water pan is nicely full, and that your hose/tube is either clamped off (a clamp is included with the juicer) or is draining into something large that will catch everything, so that in the event that your phone rings with a really important call that you must absolutely take and walk away from the juicer with, because the kids will not leave you alone and you have to lock yourself into the bathroom to deal with this very important phone call, when you finally come back up for air, if your pot catching the juice was not large enough, you will have juice EVERYWHERE.
Concord juice stains. It stains permanently. They could make Sharpies out of it that no amount of rubbing alcohol could ever clean up. Ask me how I know this. I dare you.
I put a jar inside the big pot so that, if I am able to stay focused and paying attention, I can remove and replace it without having to pour boiling hot juice from pot to jar. The pot is simply insurance.
Why bother? Because homemade Concord grape juice is the best. Ever. Remember what Welch’s used to taste like 30 years ago? Yeah, better than that. Plus, if you add fizzy water, it’s the best grape soda you’ve ever had, and it has no sugar added.
Grape juice. It’s a beautiful thing.
Except on white carpet.
Then it’s just tragic.