Grape Salad Ambrosia
Dorcas Annette Walker
We just received some much needed showers as the month of August ends. My birch tree leaves have already turned yellow and are falling to the ground signaling that autumn is right around the corner. The chilly nights makes it feel like fall is already here. I’ve finished harvesting the grapes from my vines. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that my two new grape vines turned out quite differently that I had planned.
My daughter has also inherited my jinxed gene. Like me, Dawn can’t resist checking out any plants for sale, especially during the springtime. She fell in love with a picture of a pink climbing Elizabeth Rose and bought a small plant that already had green leaves showing. Dawn selected a sunny spot near her other pink flowers, faithfully watered and nurtured it, anxiously waiting for the first pale pink rose. Everyday she would go outside to check on her rose. The rosebuds seem rather dark for pale pink but she figured that when they matured they would turn lighter. Finally the day came when the rosebuds opened up into full boom only to be a brilliant orange! Talk about a shock; an orange rose among pink flowers! The next year, still determined to have a climbing pink Elizabeth Rose, Dawn bought a larger plant. This time she planted the rose by itself as her faith was a bit shaken. The vigorous vine grew and her excitement grew as buds appeared and began opening. Unfortunately, her pink Elizabeth Rose turned out to be a dark red rose. If she had wanted a red climbing rose it would have been the perfect plant. The third spring Dawn was more determined than ever to get a pink Elizabeth Rose. This time she hunted until she found a pink Elizabeth Rose already blooming. When they sold their house, Dawn carefully transplanted her pink Elizabeth Rose. Today she enjoys the fragrant blooms each time she enters and exits her house.
In my front yard I have a climbing red rose that was supposed to have been a Peace Rose. A couple of years ago I bought two grape vines as I wanted to have white and red grapes to eat. I already have a large Concord grape vine that produces masses of dark purple Concord grapes that I make up into juice and jelly. Each year my vines have grown bigger waiting anxiously for my first harvest of white and red grapes. This year I was quite excited to see several clusters of grapes forming. I kept a close eye on my grapes impatient for my first taste of white and red grapes. At last the day came and I picked a fat green grape to taste. I quickly spit it out as it was quite sour. Not deterred I tried a reddish one, but it was just as sour. I figured that maybe the grapes needed more time to sweeten up. The next week when I checked all my grapes had turned dark purple! My husband laughed uproariously when I told him that my white and red grapevines were actually Concord. I still haven’t come to the conclusion whether it is the workers hired that misplace labels or if the nurseries themselves mislabel plants knowing that folks like us will continue to buy plants until we get what we want.
My Grape Salad Ambrosia is a scrumptious summer salad. This elegant grape salad has a smooth creamy base that surrounds the grapes with a nutty topping. The Grape Salad Ambrosia takes only fifteen minutes to prepare and this recipe serves ten to twelve.
Grape Salad Ambrosia
2 lb red grapes
2 lb white grapes
Wash, drain, and slice the grapes in half into a large bowl.
Beat together on high until smooth:
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
1 (16 oz) sour cream
½ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Fold into the grapes until well blended. Garnish with one cup brown sugar and one cup of chopped pecans. Chill and serve!
Weekly tip: To make sugared grapes or leaves wash a small cluster of grapes or leaves, pat dry with a paper towel, and then dip into egg whites. Roll and press in regular sugar. Let dry for 12 hours. Store in an airtight container!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, syndicated columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com