The Sweetest Gift

This is what you do when a friend gives you a lovely gallon of fresh picked grapes.

Jelly 2

 

This was my first time at making grape jelly, and now I know what all the fuss is about.  This grape jelly taste nothing like what you would buy in the store.  This grape jelly taste like a grape.  It has a fresh quality to it with just a hint of tartness in the background.  It’s sweet alright that’s for sure, with 13 cups of sugar in it, it ought to be.

I know I know, everybody is cutting out white sugar because it has apparently become the new poison.

Well, not me.  Moderation is what I say, because now that I’ve tasted this grape jelly, I don’t want to imagine life without it and I can’t wait to smear it all over a warm buttery biscuit or a slice of warm homemade honey wheat bread.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I used my food mill to juice the grapes, but for some reason my food mill just would not cooperate with these grapes.  By the time I decided to give up my kitchen looked like a crime scene.  I had grape juice all over me, all over the counters, all over the floor, all over everything.

Mother said those should be the pictures I post because it would make for a good laugh.  Shouldn’t be too hard to do, because more often than not I’m making some kind of mess in the kitchen.  🙂

So this is what I did.

Grape Jelly

  • Rinse 1 gallon of grapes and remove stems
  • Put grapes in a heavy bottom pot with 1 cup of water
  • Smash grapes with a potato masher (while thinking about the classic I Love Lucy episode of her stomping grapes)
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes while continuing to crush and stir the grapes – You will need 8 cups of juice
  • Strain the juice through a fine colander then place the juice in a cool spot over night
  • Get your jars and lids ready (washing and sterilizing them)
  • Strain the juice through a double cheese cloth or you could use a clean sheet or t-shirt you’ve cut up into dish towels like I did. (now I have a lovely tie dye dish towel that will always be tie dye, so keep that in mind)
  • Pour the grape juice back into the heavy bottomed pot and whisk in 2 boxes of fruit pectin
  • Bring mixture to a full boil
  • Whisk in 13 cups of sugar
  • Bring mixture back to a boil and boil for one minute (set a timer for this – 1 minute is important)
  • Skim the foam top off of the jelly
  • Carefully ladle the extremely hot mixture into your jars
  • Wipe clean the rims of the jars, put lids and bands on and water bath for 5 minutes

This netted me 16 (8 ounce) jars of jelly.

I highly recommend setting one jar aside for immediate consumption.

As a matter of fact I highly recommend a celebratory peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of ice cold fresh milk when your done.

Well, speaking of the sweetest gift…

The only thing that could’ve made this jelly better is my beautiful granddaughter making it with me.  My punkin butt loves her some purple gravy.

Meet my punkin and peanut.  Now that really is the sweetest gift!

McKenlie 3

 

Thank you to our friend for gifting us the lovely grapes, they will keep on giving all through the winter.

Till next time,

Lori

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Sweetest Gift

  1. Yum! I made raspberry jam some years back when the raspberries were especially bountiful and i didn’t have enough people around to eat them all. I don’t eat much bread, so it took a long time to work through the jam, and i gave some as gifts, too. Very yummy stuff. I have two grape vines here, but haven’t had enough grapes to try my hand at jelly. Truthfully, by the time i thought to check them last year, i found two sorry looking bunches of raisins the birds missed.

    1. We don’t eat a lot of bread either, but the Z Man loves a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I’m the odd one that likes grape jelly on a sausage biscuit. I love that sweet savory combination. We have grape vines too, but the grapes are very sour so we leave them for the birds. I was surprised at how much a 1 gallon freezer bag of grapes made, I just always assumed it would take a lot of grapes to make jelly, but clearly the bulk of it is sugar 😉

  2. I love grape jelly and use it in several “sweet and sour” recipes. Never thought of making my own. Do you know what kind of grapes you used? Concord grapes will be available here later in August and I think they might work well!

    1. Hi Maureen, hope you’re doing well! I love the new style of your blog! Our friend said they were muscasine grapes. They were a little on the tart side.

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