The summer I spend at my home is always bitter-sweet. It is sweet because I get to spend loads of time with my family – mother, sisters, nieces, nephew, and extended family, whom I see only once a year.
Like any self-respecting teenager, I didn’t place my family much above anything. I woke up to the shock of losing my father with my teens barely over and suddenly learning to do everything on my own without the comfort of my parents taking care of my every need.
My father always took us by car on long stopover trips, flew us to distant locations, and even created a weekend home for us in the hills. I took my first bus ride or even a train journey in my twenties after he passed away, and since then I have never depended upon anyone. Time teaches you to rely on yourself and that’s what I did.
What all this did to me, was the realization that my family is my anchor and extremely important to me. I no longer take them for granted and do not shy away from showing them the love I feel for them. Go, guys, life rarely gives you a second chance.
Coming back to the bitter part of my stay every year, it’s the constant fights we sisters still indulge in, yes even in our late thirties, early thirties, and early forties, we still fight like silly children. It is still about whom our mother supports vocally or emotionally, who will make the first move to talk to each other, and sometimes, we don’t even makeup and part ways for another year.
Sometimes I don’t want to fight and feel bad during my trips, but there are times when I feel that these fights are an equal part of being a family, of being sisters, and of sibling rivalry. I would not like to let these bitter memories completely go away from my trips but would heal myself and my loved ones for the next year and create some more bitter-sweet memories.
In between these memories, home-grown grapes are a boon. And when I see my kids playing and making equally lovely bitter-sweet memories, I am content.
How it looks
Grapes come in different colors and sizes. Some are red, black, green, or purple even. It can be both seedless or with seed. And yes it is known for its wines all over the world. Grape jam, grape jelly, grape juice, raisins, currants, and sultanas are some of the products by which we regularly consume grapes.
What is the best season?
Fresh harvest of grapes begins in late January and up to April. In America, it is available during the summer and fall months.
How to choose
Grapes taste best when they are firm, plump, and evenly colored. Ideally, they should be still attached to the green pliable stems. If the stems are dry and brittle, they cause grapes to drop off from the stems. This is a sign of the poor quality of grapes. If the grapes are moldy and wet, it denotes decay. One should avoid grapes that are shriveled or soft.
Why to eat
Grapes are packed with plenty of nutrients in such a small package. They are known to fight against cancer, eye issues, heart diseases, etc. They are a nutritious source of fiber, potassium, and a range of vitamins and other minerals. They are suitable for diabetics if it is a part of their diet plan.
Where to find
Grapes are mostly grown in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Mizoram.
When to eat
Grapes are easy to eat, delicious, and provide a great variety to a healthy diet. They can be enjoyed as a morning or afternoon snack.
How to eat
There are several popular ways to eat grapes or include them in your diet. You can make fresh grape juice. They also are great additives to a green salad or fruit salad. One can add chopped grapes to any favorite salad recipe, custard, or trifles. Frozen grapes are also popular and refreshing summer snacks.
What Ayurveda says
As per Ayurveda, the grape is a must-have fruit. Ayurveda says “Drakshaa Phalottamaa”, which means – of all the fruits, the grape is the best. All varieties of grapes are available (sweet-sour or more sour-sweet) have unique effects on our body health and should be enjoyed in their totality.
The shelf life of grapes largely depends upon when they were harvested and bagged. If they were harvested and bagged 1-2 days ago, they have green stems, and the fruit is plump, they’ll last 4-6 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the refrigerator. But if they were bagged 3-4 days ago, then the grapes will keep for only a few days.
- They were introduced from Spain about 300 years ago.
- They are part of the Berry family
- There are more than 8000 grape varieties. Most popular being from America and Europe
- 2.5 pounds of grapes make one bottle of wine