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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wild Grape Jelly

I know this is boring.. lol

I wasn't able to make this batch of jelly until late last night. It was interesting.... at least for me.

The wild grapes I picked a few days ago....



washed and ready....




simmered to soften...




beat to help extract the juice..



strained...






my sugar, ready and waiting...

I usually use 4 cups of juice with 6 1/2 cups of sugar... BUT found another recipe that said to use 5 cups of juice and 7 cups of sugar.

It was late at night, I was sooooo tired.. and figured I'd go for the recipe that made more jelly at one time. So I used 7 cups of sugar.

I also used pectin. I know that the green grapes contain some pectin, (thanks Chez) but I didn't want to take a chance on not having enough.





I mixed the pectin into the juice, 1/2 tsp of butter to prevent foaming and brought to a rolling boil, then added the sugar...



kept my lids warm..but not boiling.



after adding the sugar, I let the jelly hard boil for one minute... stirring constantly.




removed from the heat and skimmed off foam




filled hot jars, wiped the rims, topped with lids and inverted to seal...

they can be sealed in a water bath canner too for about 10 minutes. (check your own instructions and altitude)




I made enough jelly to fill 8 pint jars and a small bowl ( which won't last long).

Also had enough juice left to make a batch of wine.


The interesting part of the jelly making for me....
Started off by squirting purple juice all over the wall and counter top while smooshing the little grapes... made several sticky spills while stirring and ladling the hot jelly.....left a good trail across my kitchen floor from the stove to the sink... of course I stepped into it before I knew it was there...had to keep moving or my shoes would stick to the floor.... unknowingly layed a hot pad down in one sticky mess.... then placed the hot pad under my arm while carrying a load of sticky dishes to the sink.... gluing my arm to my side with sticky jelly.......

By the time the jelly was ladled, sealed and sitting pretty on the counter, I was a complete purple sticky sleepy mess...

I'll really enjoy this batch this winter. :)

24 comments:

Big Dude said...

You are so industrious

cowgirl said...

Larry, it seems like this time of the year through fall is so busy. It's nice to have this stuff over the winter though.
Looks like you have been busy too.. I've been enjoying your blog. :)
Thanks Larry!

Rothe Homestead Farm said...

Sounds like ya had a fun-filled evening! :)
Bet your mess pales in comparison to the disaster zone I can create in the kitchen.
All worth it in the end....NICE!!!


Gene

cowgirl said...

lol Gene, I bet I can out mess ya! I'm really good at spreading flour all over the kitchen too. lol

I imagine you were in Bidwell while all this was going on... hope you had a cold beer for me. :)

Thanks Gene!

Anonymous said...

Never boring Jeanie, I've been wanting to make some jelly or preserves lately, got the pectin but hesitant to do it,(also want to mix jalepeno's with the fruit),anyway not now thanks to you.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Anonymous! I like your idea of adding jalapenos to the fruit mix, bet that would be really tasty. Thanks!
Hope you have good luck with your jelly. :)

BBQJoneser said...

That made me LOL!
I've had things go awry like that before.
Did you wake up with jelly in strange spots?

Ron said...

At least the batch of jelly will be memorable in the future.

I agree with you as to enjoying the fruits of our labors later on in the year. There is nothing quite like that feeling of knowing that you made it and... it's good!

Now, you need to prepare some "Bounce," to get ready for the coldest part of winter.

cowgirl said...

Thanks Joneser! I'm really glad I'm not the only one that has problems like this. lol
I DID wake up with a few patches of jelly that my shower missed. I was too sleepy to get them all... probably lucky I didn't drown. :)

cowgirl said...

Ron Thank you! I think I will enjoy this batch.. lol
I'm definately going to make some of that Bounce.. It sounds like just what I need for the cold winter nights. Thanks Ron. :)

Chez said...

Whooooboy ... 8 pints of jelly? That's a gallon of grape jelly ... you best git yerself t'makin' some biscuits, cowgirl!! LOL Got peanut butter??

Anonymous said...

Always best to harvest the fruit yourself. I used to have lots of wild black raspberries along the woods but the deer kept eating the new cane (next year's berries) until I no longer get any berries. Now, I harvest the deer. For jam, I resigned to buying fresh fruit to make it. Still tasty, just not as good as before. And the venison is good too! Saturday I am smoking venison sausage from my December/January harvests. The deer eat my apples and I use old apple branches to smoke the venison...full circle!

cowgirl said...

Haha.. Chez... I need to get busy and make some biscuits. :) I still have to make sandhill plum, blueberry and cactus jelly too. I'll have jelly running out of my ears.
Thanks Chez.. :)

cowgirl said...

Anonymous...I love your post. That's the way things should be. I'm glad to hear you are making the full circle and are still able to enjoy your wild raspberries and apples...Hope you have good luck with your smoke Saturday..
Hat's off to you and Thank you for posting. :)

Anonymous said...

I cannot stop laughing at/with you. why would you start such a project while your soooo tired. same reason we all do, sounded good at the time....LoL. sort of like the last thing a redneck sez... Hey watch this.. LoL Buddy.

cowgirl said...

Hahaha.... So true! lol
I knew I wouldn't have time to get to the jelly today and the smart thing to do would have been to bag them up and freeze the grapes... but Noooo.... I had to make jelly in the middle of the night when normal people are sleeping. lol

Thanks for the laugh Buddy, it's good to see ya. :)

christop1912@yahoo.com said...

Cowgirl:
Wow! I love good old fashion grape jelly.
I just heard about your blog a few weeks ago. This is one of my first times to view it. So, I hope that you do not mind a question from an older posting.
.
The post about your shrimp pond was very interesting. I also own a small pond/estuary. My is about 2 1/2 acres, and I fill it with high tide sea water. I raise tiger prawns, milk fish, and mud crabs in my pond. I wrote a fast, simple, blog on it at http://lostinphilippines.blogspot.com. The blog iss nothing fancy.
.
But now, I really want to move inland, away from the sea. I had been wondering if there was a way to raise prawns in a fresh water pond. I guess I have an answer to my question!
What I am trying to find out now, is if there would be any conflict with raising catfish (or other fresh water fish) along side the prawn. Do you think that they would get along,or would I end up with "shrimp fed catfish". Who knows? It might turn out to be a delicacy!

cowgirl said...

Hi Christop, it's nice to meet you!
I like your set up. To be able to raise crab along with the shrimp would be my dream come true. :)

You are right about raising fish with the shrimp.. the fish eat the juvenile shrimp before they have a chance to grow.
If you wanted to raise the shrimp in cages it might work. I've seen cages made with pvc and netting.. Several layers of netting are used to make "shelves" for the shrimp, to keep them separated.
The problem I see with that method is the quantity you would be limited to. It would be nice for a few shrimp but not hundreds..

Thank you for stopping by and thanks for your link. Hope you keep me posted on how it goes! :)

Thanks Chris..

David P. Offutt said...

Hardly boring. Though I find your invert till the lid seats interesting when it seems like a water bath is in order. Can you explain? Is that just "country" practice.... Dave

cowgirl said...

Hi Dave! Thanks. :) Hope you had a great weekend!

I use the inverted method on my own jelly..also on some hot salsas. Anything I can for others gets the water bath treatment.
I've had no problems with the inverted method, but tell everyone to use what ever they feel the most comfortable with.
Also.. everyone should check their canner instructions and altitude before canning anything.

I'm already down three jars of jelly, friends are going through it like crazy. I did pick more grapes today so hope to get another batch made soon.

Thanks again Dave, good to see ya. :)

Anonymous said...

Next year, consider picking the grapes early, just before they turn purple. I love the sweet/sour flavor of the green grape jelly. And you get the added benefit of no purple clean-up

cowgirl said...

Hi Anonymous! Thanks for the tip. I wonder if we are talking about the same kind of grapes.. These do not sweeten when purple, they are twangy little buggers. :)
Thanks though!

Anonymous said...

The green grapes we pick are the wild "mustang" grapes, found on every dirt road in Texas. They are even more so "mustang" ripened to their deep TCU purple.

Love your blog!

cowgirl said...

:) Thanks for the info and for checking out my blog Anonymous!
I've not heard these called mustang grapes but you would think that if they grow all over Texas they would be here in Oklahoma too!
Thanks again! :)