Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homemade Grape Jelly

Got the last of the concord grapes from the Asheville farmer's market today and am making a nice batch of old fashioned home made grape jelly.

I love this recipe (if you could call it that)... It's been mostly done by memory and long habit.
This recipe does NOT use commercially made pectin. It just relies on the pectin in the fruit.
It's so easy... although a bit time consuming.

For anyone interested, here's what I do:

First, take a big pile of concord grapes . . .
about one third to one half of a paper grocery bag. It helps to have some unripe grapes to help the jelly so set.

Toss the fresh grapes into a sink filled with cold water. lightly swish around to remove any debris. Pull the clean grapes from the stems and toss into a LARGE pan. Lightly crush the grapes using a potato masher, and turn the burner to LOW.

Let it warm up over a long period of time, stirring every once in a while to encourage the grapes to "juice".

Once the grapes have broken down you will need to strain it through a clean cheesecloth to separate the juice from the pulp, skin and seeds.

I made the mistake of using a cheese cloth that I had washed in the laundry and everything came out tasting like soap. Lesson learned: always use a new cheesecloth or boil your used one if you intend to reuse it.

Measure the juice you get, return it to your pan and discard the pulp.

Add almost as much sugar as you have juice. I really do this by taste, so I can't tell you an exact measurement. It depends on the sweetness of the grapes. I have never actually measured.

Stir the sugar into the juice until it has totally dissolved and simmer until it looks good.

By "good" I mean that if you take a bit out of the pan and if it gels when it cools it's probably ready.

I don't usually "can" it cause it never lasts long at our home, but this time I did. Poured it into sterilized jars slapped the lids on and listened for the little pop that let me know they sealed.

I know these directions are casual in the extreme. I would recommend you look on line if you want a "real" recipe. Home made grape jelly is SO good. you'll never want to go back to the store bought stuff.

Hope you're having as much fun on your weekend as I am!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting it Done and found Wuglyees

Been virtuously working on administration and bookkeeping tasks all week, so now I can create some jewelry without any little nagging guilt feelings of tasks left undone.

I've also been working a bit on my ArtistiKat Facebook Page this week after many weeks of inactivity. I've changed my profile pic and also shared a talented Etsy artist.

She has a unique shop Wuglyees that features creative crocheted jewelry and accessories.
Like this:

Striking isn't it! She has such skill.

Just click on the picture to go to her shop and see this beautiful creation "in person". She has lots to choose from.

I would also love for everyone to take a peek at my ArtistiKat Facebook Page and let me know what you think, offer comments and/or suggestions, or to just chuckle at my incompetence.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Before I go, I want to mention that I've also recently listed a new tree pendant in my Etsy shop.

A Solitary Fall/ Winter Tree with a Pearl Moon.

Hope you like it.