Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grape Jelly

After the grapes are picked, cleaned, and cooked, the mixture is put through a colander. This star-embellished old-timer may well have belonged to Marcia's grandfather close to 100 years ago. Still does the job!
The roughly treated juice and some pulp is stored in gallon jugs. This mixture is now ready for further cooking on its way to being a product somewhere between jelly and jam.

The cooking continues with the addition of Sure-Jell, sugar, and a touch of butter to control the foaming. A rolling boil with constant stirring completes the process.

We made several batches tonight, ending up with 12 pint jars for the freezer. We had some worries, as some of the finished jars had different consistancies and solidified at very different rates. But surely that is the fun of home cooking. We don't have a lab to test ingredients, nor huge pots to cook gallons at the same time. We do have years of experience, faith in the process, and a realization of the reality that this is an art rather than a science -- along with the confidence that our future toast will taste just fine adorned with the fruits of our labor!

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