Homemade Grape Jelly; So Far So Good
08 Sep, 2012
Written By: Connie Jelkin ~
Yes, I want to save some money. Yes, I want to be a good steward. Yes, homemade is better.
OK – - I’ll make some homemade grape jelly. Did I know what I was getting myself into? Of course not. I rarely do. But I happily jumped into this project.
The first step was done for me. Our daughter woke early and went out to pick the grapes from her yard. By the time I stopped by, she was almost finished. So far so good.
We decided to bring the grapes to our house to wash them up. But first we had to stop by the store to get sugar and jars. Wow!! They are pretty proud of those jars. One flat set us back quite a bit, but we had the grapes for free, . .so far so good.
Washing grapes sounded easy, but each little grape has to be freshened up and all the stems and leaves removed. That took a lot longer than we had anticipated. OK, it’s our first time. Learning curve.
The recipe that we Googled said we could put these grapes into a pan, squash them with a potato masher and cook them for 10 minutes to, and I quote: “loosen the skins and release the juice.” That didn’t sound too hard. So far so good.
Now we have this pot of cooked grapes. Hmmmmm. Back to Google. We are to pour this mix through two layers of cheesecloth. Wait a minute. This mix does not pour well. We have to kind of push the juice through and what is left behind is a collection of all the skins, some stems and seeds. Google said that chickens LOVE this part. Let’s just say that I am not a chicken nor do I have any. (Live ones that is) This step was a little hard on me – - -keep the goal in mind. Homemade. Homemade.
Now we bring this juice and some pectin (the stuff that makes it set up) to a boil. Add sugar and then boil the whole thing again. Watch Out!! The sugar and juice will boil over VERY QUICKLY. Do not doubt me, just learn from my experience. Remember the goal. Homemade. Homemade.
Google says we are now ready to pour all of this into warm jars and add boiled lids and seal them with the rings. We then boiled all the jars in a kettle for 10 minutes so those rings will seal.
As we placed them on the table, the jars began to give off that little ‘pop’ sound that says the seal worked!! HooRAy. We did make Homemade Jelly.
We had a little extra that did not fit into the jars, so that is what we got to taste. Not bad. Next batch needs more sugar. We patted each other on the back and began again. Experience is a great teacher and - – the lessons stay with you. We had to go out and get more jars and more sugar, but we created jelly out of all of those grapes.
We probably did not save much over buying jelly on a sale at the store. But we created some great memories and really have something that is fun to say: nutritious jelly. . . .So far so good.