Granddaddy’s scuppernong grapes
At a country store in Brevard not long ago, the overflowing peach basket of greenish gold scuppernongs and their unmistakable aroma brought me back to Granddaddy’s backyard “vineyard.” I could hear the bees buzzing around the ripening fruit and taste the sweetness of the freshly picked scuppernongs and dark purple grapes that he grew on his homemade cedar post arbor.
When the day arrived to pick the fruit, the fun really began. Grandmother hulled the grapes and brought the hulls to simmer on her kerosene kitchen stove. When she determined all the juice was out of the hulls, she poured the juice through an upright sieve lined with cheesecloth, using the pestle to squeeze out every drop of juice. She then processed the juice into a wonderful grape jelly that would have made Welch’s envious. To her, it would be sinful to waste the fruit. I do know that they never made scuppernong wine. That would have invoked sin on a whole other level.