When I was a child, we often visited Aunt Willie in Mississippi. She was my mother's aunt, so she was the age of my grandmother, actually, my grandmother's sister, my great-aunt. Aunt Willie would always have muscadine jam. I called it jelly. I am going to make muscadine jam just like she did--with grape seeds in it.
Jelly would be smoother, but I actually like the grape skins and the pulp I had as a small child. She would chuckle and say, "Linda, watch for seeds. I never get them all out." I am sure she did not leave all the seeds in, but I am not working too hard to remove them. I may dip a few seeds out as I mash them and heat them on the stove. Since I could only afford a quart of these at $3.98, I am going to make the jelly, pour it in two sterile pint jars and refrigerate it. It's just me, so I won't worry about seeds until I spread the jam on toast. And, I am not going to serve this to anyone but exbf.
Some of these have the diameter of a quarter. In years past, I have traipsed in Bankhead Forest and gathered muscadines. Those adventures involved tripping over the forest floor, thorns eating my knit pants and legs. I would get in the tub when I got home and pick thorns out of my bleeding legs.
I ate one and think I might eat another. The taste and scent drive me mad. I know that two seems a stingy way to have a treat, but I want some jelly, too. Yes, this is one of the most powerful scents and memories of my childhood!
If there are any crab apples left on some state property, tomorrow I will make my own pectin for the jelly. Or, I will resort to commercial pectin. I do not want to stand long enough for this to gel. Besides, these are all very ripe.
In the South, people often make muscadine wine. Even the commercial muscadine wine is so aromatic that it almost hurts to smell it.
And, my birthday is not until September 11th.
Have you ever eaten muscadines? Picked them from the forest or cultivated vines? Have you ever eaten muscadine jelly? Made muscadine jelly? Wine? What particular scents evoke memories of your childhood?