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Posting from the Vineyard

We've got a grape vine in our yard. Last year we let the critters eat the grapes as we were busy doing things like moving in and cleaning up puddles of raw sewage in the basement and replacing the dead water heater and trying to plug in lamps.

This year we picked the grapes. We picked over 50lbs of grapes. I am not exaggerating. I weighed them.
We gave a 10lb bag to the neighbor. He gave some to another neighbor. The grapey harvest just keeps on giving. On Saturday, I made jelly.

First the grapes had to be removed from their stems. We put them in bins for storing and subsequent washing. At this point we had about 35lbs:

I filled the dutch oven with as many grapes as it would easily hold and mashed them with a potato masher. I brought this up to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then I filtered the pulp/skins/seeds from the juice.
Here is two cups of juice:

In case you're wondering, Clorox Clean-Up is great at removing grape stains from laminate counters.

I ended up with about two gallons of juice.

Each batch of jelly requires a mere four cups of grape juice and a whopping seven cups of sugar! I cooked the juice and the sugar until it was at a rolling boil and popped in a packet of liquid pectin. I cooked it for exactly one minute as directed and ladled it into pre-washed jars. They weren't kidding about that "one minute" thing. I went a few seconds over on the first batch and the jelly went over and burnt all over the stove and smoked up the kitchen. The jars went into the canning pot to be boiled for five minutes. They all sealed and set properly. Success!

I have twenty four jars of jelly and there is still a gallon of juice in my fridge. I went through about 10lbs of sugar and three more packs of pectin. I'm still trying to figure out why exactly I feel driven to make more jelly than any three families need in a year, but I'm enjoying it. (as are the neighbors, and my co-workers, and pretty soon random strangers on the street)

Yay Jam! I didn't realize you had that many vines.

It's not jam. It's jelly. Jam has pulp and/or bits of fruit in it. And I don't have that many vines, they're just very productive.

Jelly, Mrs. Chemist-lady, has bits of fruit in it, otherwise what you have there would be gelatinous sugar-water and not purple grape-flavored gelatinous sugar-water. The distinction is not the absence of fruit, it is the size.

Ok, I've officially written more on your blog than I have on my own this week.

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  • I'm Sarah
  • From Pittsburgh, United States
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