Thursday, September 11, 2014

Grape jelly and peach jam

[Note: 43 cups of sugar were used in the making of this blog post.]

We have many grape vines growing wild in the backyard. This year, they were particularly prolific. Over 10 pounds of grapes were picked...
...then removed from their stems.
Washed, then put into a large stock pot, covered with water, and brought to a boil.
After they come to a boil, I turn them down to simmer for 10 minutes or so. After done, I let the mixture cool on the stove for a bit, so that I'm not working with a very hot mixture.
Clean your sink well. The grapes stain so much that I move ladles of the mixture into the jelly strainer in the sink.
It takes a while for the juice to drain off. I ended up very carefully moving the strainer and juice up to the counter, so that I could use my sink again.
Once strained, I had over 18 cups of grape juice. I put it into jars to sit in the fridge until I was ready to make the grape jelly, which happened three days later.
First, boil all of the jars and tops.
Then make the grape jelly. I use the recipe in the Certo box. I make two batches at a time, which means 8 cups of juice and 14 cups of sugar go into the stock pot to start.
After making the first double batch of grape jelly, I made peach jam, also from the recipe in the Certo box.
First, you boil the peaches for 2-3 minutes to loosen the skins.
Take the peaches out of the water to cool. Skinning really hot peaches is no fun.
The skin usually pulls off easily.
I finely chopped the peaches, ending up with 8 cups, which was a double batch of the peach jam recipe (8 cups peaches, 14 cups sugar, 2 pouches of Certo).
After making the peach jam, I made the second double batch of grape jelly. (I processed the jars after each batch was made. I don't have any photos of boiling jelly or jam, filling jars, or boiling jars, as it can be messy.)

Here's what my counter looked like at the end of this jelly and jam making spree.
Many jars have been given to friends, and many remain in the pantry for the winter.

Someone offered me some apples from a tree in their yard today. Tempted to try making apple jelly....

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