Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grape Picking & Homemade Jelly.....Gift Giving!!!!

Making homemade jelly is very satisfying! It is some work I must say, but well worth it! First, we went grape picking with some of our friends which always makes work (picking) more fun! Of course, I wondered all over the orchard tasting grapes trying to find the sweetest ones. I think I ate more than I picked! The grapes are actually what I call scuppenongs. They taste very different from store bought grapes. As you can see they come in a deep purple and bronze and grow on vines just like grapes. This orchard is owned by an 80 something year old gentleman who still maintains the grapes. While we were there picking he was there pruning the vines and picking grapes . Quite a feat considering he is blind and uses a walker! His lovely wife was with him and it was amazing to see Mrs. B, also 80 something, moving easily under the vines from row to row. We were beginning to think there maybe a fountain of youth in this orchard! Mr. B loves trains and that is a real caboose on the property! This is the second year we have had the pleasure to be asked to pick the grapes. I hope this will be an annual event for us....especially now I am getting more canning supplies.
Jelly making is really not that hard with the right supplies...just time consuming! I used the "Sure Jell" Pectin recipe. So far the jelly has turned out perfectly! I would suggest that you get a few gadgets for canning. It really makes it a lot easier! I bought the jelly strainer bag kit. Last year I used cheesecloth and it was harder to work with.
I ended up with 40 jars of sweet homemade jelly!!! Of course, most of the jelly will go for gifts like last year. Guess the most fun about making the jelly is eating it and giving it away!! My sweet college girl and sweet older daughter have already asked for me to send them a care package.
Now all I need is a pretty label!
Sunshine from SSS,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had so much fun picking all those grapes and now you have great gifts to give to friends and family!