The basic story follows the flowering buds turning into fruit, maturing, ripening despite the conflicts of drought, drenching rain, bugs, squirrels and birds and coming due to harvest. At this point, the pears, peaches, crabapples and grapes will be transformed into crabapple sauce, jelly, and lots and lots of wine. That, I suppose, is the character change, the transformation to a higher level.
More conflicts: the narrative structure, though linear as above, begins to backtrack into backstory. The 5-gallon carboys in which the wine will age is the last step before the bottling, and two of the glass vessels are still sitting with last year’s grape wine for lack of bottle corks. So the old wine must be moved before the new, mere fruit cut up with sugar and yeast in plastic containers for the first fermenting can take its place. An online order is placed for corks and Montrachet yeast and acid blends from a wine supplier somewhere in the midwest since my local store has closed.
The crabapples (which I’d frankly hoped would rot while I was gone) and the pears (the same) are at the perfect point and some are boiled down for crabapple sauce and jelly. The rest, along with the pears and a half dozen quince are cut and thrown together for the wine. A quick trip to the grocery store for 60 lbs. of sugar amid the raised eyebrows of the cashier and the lady behind me in line.
Tomorrow will be peach-picking day, and perhaps the grapes as well. All are washed, the peaches cut up and pitted, the grapes picked from their clusters and squished–that’s the part I love best.
Then the produce, tomatoes and two kinds of peppers, and onions and garlic and all the rest must be turned into salsa.