A few weeks ago I was at an Amish produce auction. I go occasionally to see if there is any cheap produce to take advantage of. One particular day they had grapes. Lots and lots of grapes. And they were calling my name. And when grapes call your name, they do so loudly.
It has been such a long time since we have had grape juice! And I had to leave my grapevines at our old house! And they smelled so good!
The temptation was too great, so I bid on them.
And then- without thinking took FIVE of the buckets we were bidding on.
I ended up selling our next-born in order to have some grapes. On the way home, I was disgusted with myself. I could have bought a truckload of frozen concentrate from the store for the price I paid. Ridiculous. Canning for me is a way for me to SAVE money- not spend it. (That is, unless the concord grape smell wafts to my nose.)
I made a bunch of half-gallon jars of the grape juice "cocktail"- knowing that they will provide us with more 'juice'. (Because, after all, you add a bunch of water.) It is very easy to can but must sit for about 6 weeks before opening~to meld all the juices/water to perfection.
Per (sterilized) half-gallon jar:
2 cups grapes
1/2 - 1 cup sugar
Boiling water to fill to 1/2 inch from top.
Boiling water-bath for 20 minutes.
(You can make them in quart jars too- I just upgraded to half gallon so I would only need to open one to serve the whole family. If using quarts- halve the grapes and sugar quantities.)
The rest we pressed with our fruit press.
This juice from the press is PURE juice so makes much less, but is much more concentrated and delicious (and healthful.)
I have Grape Sorbet in the freezer for Sundays' Ice Cream Sunday post- which I never posted. Surry.
I decided on the way home from the auction that day, I will not spend another cent on grapes ever again.
I will get a few grapevines in the ground at Hopestead- and until they mature and bear fruit, perhaps I will go on Craigslist to see if anyone has any they don't need/want/use. And if not- we will go without.
Hold me to this, would you please?