Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Break out the PB & J! It's school-time!

Because I didn't win any of the summer auctions for Core 300 on Ebay, I was delayed in ordering our schoolbooks brand new (OUCH$$$) from the publisher. But they finally arrived and school has started! That's "Pudd" (as in Pudding) in the photo with our FedEx delivery. She's not the only one who is a little disappointed that summer is over!

We all know that with school comes PB & J sandwiches. Guess what! I tried my hand at jelly making for the first time last week. My next door neighbor has a mulberry tree just dripping with bunches of grapes. Huh? Well, previous tenents of that home planted grape vines and they have since been uncared for and have grown up wild inside the adjacent mulberry tree!

Well, my son and I took a few minutes to pick some bunches and brought in a couple of plastic grocery bags 1/2 full. I plucked and washed the grapes then went to the internet to google for recipes. Here is what I used: http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm

That recipe called for 5 lbs of grapes and I only had 2! Oh, well. I figured I'd just cut the recipe in half...or so...I'm not too good at math.

The first thing to do was mash up the grapes.

The next thing to do was boil them and mash them some more.

Then you get this gross purple paste that you have to seive the juice from. WARNING: Any drop of this splashed on your 1940's antique red & white inlaid formica table will stain it! Yikes! Wipe it quick!

You should now have 5 cups of pure organic grape juice...well, I only had 1.25 measley cups. But that didn't stop me! I was gonna make this work!

Next you put the juice back in the pot and add some pectin. I figured about 1/2 a box would do. Then add the sugar. The recipe called for 7 cups sugar added to 5 cups of juice and that sounded to me a bit much. So I did some quick ratios in my head, ("Hmmm, let's see...7:5....2:1 1/4 ...ya, that sounds about right...") and poured about 2 cups of sugar into the bubbling mix. It got nice and gooey and I poured it into two little jelly jars that someone gave me last year. I DID sterilize them in the dishwasher.

I screwed the metal lids on them and let them cool before putting them in the fridge.

Now take a look at my breakfast this morning!

Isn't it lovely?! And it tastes as good as Welch's! OK...It didn't come out perfectly...it's more like sticky jam than jelly, but it spreads wonderfully! When I told this story to my friend Jennifer, whom I affectionately call "Martha Stewart", she kept interrupting me saying, "You can't DO that! You can't DO that!" Well, I did. Now where's my peanut butter?


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed, it gives a whole new meaning to PB&J.


Sand Flat Farm said...

Congratulations on your jelly! I found your blog today and was so excited to see your cottage re-do. We just restored our little family farm cottage for the last year and a half. We're down to decorating now and working out on the property.

Those old papers and paint colors made me laugh. We had some of those in our cottage! You'll have to go back to 2007 to see some of our pics. I'll keep up with your progress. Isn't it fun????? Vickie

Cherry's Jubilee said...

YUMMMMMMMMM. Tht says it all. cherry :0)