Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Few Comments on Jelly Making

My sister has grapes.  Boy, does my sister have grapes.  Her husband planted a Concord vine in an old barrel and trained it to climb up over their garage.  As a result, she's got pots upon pots filled with the fruit sitting on her buffet.  Her little grape-loving boys are making a good dent in them, but the grapes still keep coming.  She sent me home one day with a big panful of them - encouraging me to make jelly with them.  So I did, and it's so good.

My jelly-making history began when I was a teenager.  I used to make scads of jars of jams and jellies and sold them on the counter of a local butcher shop to help put myself through business school.  My (eventual) mother-in-law was the one who taught me how to make it.  But if you don't have an experienced jam-making mother-in-law, that's okay.  The printed directions that come in a package of fruit pectin (the stuff that gives jelly its' gel) does a pretty explicit job of the process.  And I always say that it takes longer to prepare to make jelly than it takes to actually make the jelly.  The benefits?  Let me just say that the incredible smell, taste and sight of fresh jams and jellies far outweigh a little bit of stickiness.

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