It took longer than a couple of weeks, but results from the experiment are in, and they aren’t what I’d expected. My hypothesis was that the grapes would sit there on the counter, untouched, as they progressed through one phase of decay into the next, our very own compost pile right there in the kitchen. I prepared to be annoyed that apparently no one else would notice this or seem to care that there was a bowl of moldy produce right under their noses, and I resolved not to buy grapes in bulk at Costco henceforth. I was ready to consider this a matter of “grapes wasted and nobody cares: case closed”, but, lo and behold, those grapes absolutely refused to rot, resisting demise with some kind of transcendental life force perhaps supplied to them in infancy by their mother vine. What happened instead was that they shriveled into honest-to-god raisins, their supple skin folding in on itself in rippled wrinkles, internal sugars concentrating and intensifying, little ovoid chrysalises that were both the vessel for transformation as well as the result of the metamorphosis occurring therein. Here I will try to record as close to verbatim as I can recall the conversation that occurred after this process had arrived at completion, as a record kept in faith to the scientific process:
Brian: (eats one) “These are good!”
Alison: “I know! I can’t believe it. I’m going to make oatmeal raisin cookies with actual homemade raisins! Gives a new meaning to ‘table grapes’, doesn’t it?”
Brian: “No way are you using those in cookies. You can use other raisins for that, not these perfect, delicious, succulent, way-too-good-for-baking raisins. Keep these away from the oven. They’re for eating just like this.”
Well, there you have it. As it turns out, sometimes just leaving things alone yields decidedly sweet results. But I don’t think I’m going to get in the habit of putting neglected fruit in a bowl on the counter and hoping it undergoes transformational self-improvement the way these raisins did. It really would be unrealistic to hold such grape expectations.