Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jelly Making

Last Wednesday I took my little nephew Brian (the cheeky character in the knit hat, one post down...) to a local orchard to pick apples and 'punkins'. It was a blustery, chilly kind of gray day, but we made the most of it. He led me over hill and dale (literally) picking apples, peppers, pumpkins and 10 pounds of concord grapes. We had so much fun, but once I got home I thought "Oh no. Ten pounds of grapes?"I had it in my head that 20 something years ago, in the early, halcyon days of married life, I'd made a tiny batch of wild grape jelly that actually turned out great. Well, Friday I searched through my cookbooks and found an 'easy' recipe for grape jelly. After a quick trip to the store for extra jars and pectin I set to work. Brian helped, as only 2 year old boys can, by questioning what I was doing at every opportunity and by watching Thomas DVDs to give me the time I needed for the jelly.
This is the pot of boiling jelly...after I'd sorted the grapes to weed out the yucky ones, mashed them a bit and cooked them to release their natural pectin. They then had to be pressed through a sieve to remove seeds and most of their peels. Then 4 1/2 cups of sugar, a dash of lemon juice and a box of powdered pectin and voila! I had to improvise a canning bath, so I used my largest turkey roasting pan, with a cookie cooling rack in it to set the jars of jelly on...filled it with water and used 2 baking sheets for cover. It worked like a charm.
I love the colour of the jelly. It was the most vivid and amazing shade of red-violet. My bamboo spoon is now permanently dyed. I had to take this picture of the jelly pot so I could remember that colour. The smell was pretty incredible too. It just made your mouth water.

And here are the 'fruits' of my labour... 24 4oz jars of jelly. "Mama KK's Great Grape Mess" Jelly.
It's delicious. Esp. on marble rye toast with butter.

So, I think this is how I'm dealing with being an 'empty- nester'. Later this week I'm sending off care-packages to my sons...I'll definitely include at least one jar of jelly for each of them. The rest I'll keep on the counter for a while, to admire...wow. I actually made jelly. And it's good.


  1. Yummm. I haven't had breakfast and now you have me wanting toast and jelly. Mine will be gross store bought jelly so I'm sure there will be no comparison! It is a very pretty color.

  2. oh wow! looks like it turned out beautifully!~

  3. wow, all the grandmas will be so proud!!!
    What a color!!!!

  4. oooooh, looks yummy! Thanks for your visit! Have a great week. : )