Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grapes from our Garden

Concord Grapes from our vines
The fall after we moved into our current  home,  we were   pleasantly surprised to find Concord grapes on the vines covering the fence that separated the driveway from our backyard. Planted by the  previous owners,  we had done nothing to nurture them.  Each year since, we still do almost nothing other than pruning them before winter sets in and watering them in summer. Yet in the  fall they yield a  couple of big bowls of  sweet, dark grapes. Enough to eat, give away.and make juice or jelly.
Juice and jelly start out the same way: 
  • wash the grapes, pick out the stems and leaves
  • crush the grapes in a food processor(seeds and skins
  • place the mixture in a large pot
  • add  water and boil for a few minutes
  • strain to get the dark purple juice. 
This year I made a batch of grape jelly  from the juice using the recipe on the Sure Jell package. The directions from this web site below are really helpful. My experience from a previous year lends credence to their advise  to carefully to measure out the ingredients. It's a lot of work to end up with soupy "jelly" !

http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm

They do a great job explaining the process, step by step and include pictures.  The sense of satisfaction of seeing the finished product lined up on the counter is hard to beat!

Grape Jelly!

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