Wednesday, September 19, 2007

36 lbs. of Grapes!!!! read right. Last Thursday Hubby brought home two large bags of concord grapes...fresh off the vine. Each bag weighed about 5 pounds. Then on Monday he brought home 4 bags and each bag weighed 6 1/2 pounds!! They tasted so yummy. You may be wondering were in the world would we get that many grapes...and for FREE....well....I will tell you. ;o) Were Hubby works there is a house (original with the property before the buildings for the business were built) has a large grape vine that engulfs an apple tree. Anyway...the owner told hubby he could have as many grapes as he wanted (they don't do anything with them). Oh....I was so excited. I always wanted to make my own jelly and juice, but I didn't want to pay a lot for grapes that I didn't know where they came from or to take the time to do such a messy job. But...that's okay...I am so glad I did.

When he brought the first round home I wasn't prepared. We washed the grapes....
Then I mashed them with a potato masher and cooked them to get the "juices" flowing.
Then I had to strain the juice out. I only had a flour sack I had to use what I had. It took a while, but it worked.
After you go through this whole process you had to let the juice sit for about a day. Grape juice has these crystals that form and you don't want it in you jelly or juice. Anyway I think after that first round I ended up with 8 jelly jars of wonderful Concord grape jelly. As I said....the next night of juicing I had a lot more. Here are the bags Hubby brought home.

The larger round (the 26 pounds) I was blessed. Ginny let me use her real nifty steam juicer. Let me tell you...this thing is awesome! (Ginny...were did you get yours?)
You fill the bottom with water, set the next part on top, then the basket with the grapes. As the water boils the steam cooks/juices the grapes. Here is a better explanation. Anyway...last night I think I did 2 batches of jelly and then we canned about 1 1/2 gallons of juice. I using the steam juicer, out of 24-26 lbs of grapes I got a little over 8 quarts of juice...I think. Anyway...If you are intimidated by juicing...this things makes it a whole lot easier. So...I better go clean up my mess I made in the kitchen last night. :o)


Ron and Ginny said...

Melanie, darling, that juice looks luscious! I got that juicer at a thrift store, believe it or not, for $20!!! What a blessing that was! New, they are over a hundred... I'm glad it worked for you. :-D

Lady_MSnow said...

I can not believe you found that at a thrift store! Keep your eye out for me. ;)

Marci said...

Melanie, you can get one at Shetler's for $124.99. If you want one locally, go to 77 Housewares or Yoder's Variety store or Bunker Hill Hardware to get the best price.

Jane said...

Mel you are lucky the vine produced this yr Mine and my mom's concord grapes didn't do well this yr.