Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ooooh, It's So Good

Sorry Mr. Food, but I had to borrow your trademark phrase for my grape jelly.

So after I cooked the grapes last night, I put them in a strainer over a large bowl, covered them with a towel and let them sit in the refrigerator till I got home from work today. Picking the grapes, cleaning, pulling them off the stems, and cooking them was definitely the hardest part of the whole process.

Today I just had to add the sugar and stir constantly till boiling, then add the pectin, bring to a boil again and then put everything into the jars. I ended up with lots more jelly than I originally expected.

Once you get the jelly in the jars, it gets processed in a hot water bath for about 5 minutes. I sat and listened to all the jar lids seal as they cooled.

It has such a delicious flavor. There's definitely a different sort of tanginess than you get with any store-bought grape jelly (or at least the cheap grape jelly I buy at the store).

So as I'm making this jelly, I'm asking myself whether it's really worth the effort and what have I saved? Yeah, the grapes are organic, and I know exactly where they came from. There's quite a bit of sugar (not organic) in this jelly, but really I'm only eating a couple teaspoons of jelly at a time, so is it that bad? I'm not sure how much gas I used running a couple burners on the stove for half an hour. But, hey, I made it myself and it tastes SO GOOD! I'm excited that I have enough to give some away as gifts. Do people appreciate gifts like this? I like making gifts for people and that's where you can really save some money by not going out and buying stuff nobody wants or can't use.

Anyway, now I think I'm getting hooked on this jelly thing. I've still got all those highbush cranberries to pick after the first frost....but what about all those crabapples? The birds can't possibly eat that many, can they? I think I'd better go and buy some more jelly jars this weekend.

NOTE: I got this recipe from the internet, at the RecipeZaar site (here's the link).


Anonymous said...

looks like the one on the far left wasn't filled up all the way. You really shouldn't save that one so please feel free to send it off this way! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I have lots of jars, if you want to come and get them, I also have rings, you buy the lids. Is this a bargain or what! It all looks so good.

entoto said...

Oh yeah, Ruthie! I LOVE getting jam and jelly as gifts. I know someone cared enough to treat the berries, grapes and me well. And I love making jam and giving it as gifts. Otherwise I would have twenty jars of blueberry jam and no raspberry or apricot. We share the joy that way.

Jayne said...

Yummmmmmmy! My grandmother used to can all sorts of jams and jellies. I especially loved her apple butter. There is simply nothing like that taste of homemade... nothing in the store can come close.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Tom,
That's the one I didn't have enough room for in the hot water pot, so it didn't seal and I'll have to eat it right away!

Hi Mom,
Now that you mention it, I think I already have some pint jars from you around here somewhere....

Hey Trixie,
Will you trade some of your blueberry for grape? I love blueberries!

Hi Jayne,
My grandma used to make apple butter too. I didn't like it when I was a little kid, but I bet would as an adult. I'm pretty sure there's a recipe in one of my books too....

Ruth said...

I found a lot of wild grapes at lunch time yesterday. I brought some back to my office and ate them. Pretty sour! but they would make great jelly. I am going out with a bucket to collect more. Thanks for the recipe link.

RuthieJ said...

Have fun, Ruth. I did end up picking them off the stems, but it really wasn't very messy (just time consuming). That way I was able to make sure I had only the fruits that were still good (because there were some little dried up ones that I didn't want to use)

Mary said...


I think most appreciate something from your kitchen more than anything.

I'm proud of your own Jelly! I thin you are on a roll, Ruthie J!

If your inventory gets too large, send some jelly my way. I'll even pay the postage. Nothin' like an toasted English muffin with real butter and home-made jelly.

entoto said...


I would gladly trade! I would love to taste wild grapes from Minnesota. Let me know where and when.


Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I am with you on the jelly thing. I certainly didn't grow my own grapes, as I made WINE JELLY. But I love the fact that 1) I made it myself and 2) I get to eat it myself. Hah!

My recipe is here:

Good job, Ruthie!

Robin (Bumblebee)

Larry said...

Mr. food is out your way too?-Someone gave me a couple of his books.-That jelly does look good!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
I love Mr. Food! He has the best recipes and some of them are so easy. I use quite a few of his ground beef recipes for my ground venison main dishes.

Patrick B. said...

My fiancee and I gave jams, jellies, chutneys, etc. as gifts last year to everyone for Xmas. It was a big hit. I have a relative who makes the most amazing fig preserves.