Sunday, September 7, 2008

It must be jelly coz jam don't shake like that

Jelly and Jam: I painstakingly picked and froze my giant raspberries for about a month to get enough berries for jam. I was able to make a batch and half (12 jars). It looks and tastes lovely. Cost: berries $0, jars and pectin $0 (last year's), sugar $1.79. So the post title is out of sequence: I made jam first. I am in the process of preparing the Concord grapes from the garden; it's a lot more fiddly work than jam. Last night I broke one jar and let the fruit boil over, which is a warning to those who might wish to look upon the wine while it is red; helps pass the time, though.

I have a couple of packages of no-sugar pectin (but I need to add 1 cup unsweetened fruit juice and a sugar substitute; I think Splenda will do). I'll make regular grape jelly with sugar and regular pectin with half the grapes and try out the no-sugar stuff on the remainder. Does this look like enough?

September 14 update: I only used about half of these grapes, since I got so bored with pulling the good ones off. Not as bad as last year, when I composted about 8 gallons.

I use the water-bath canning method, which is much safer, botulism-wise, than simply boiling the fruit and packing it in hot jars. I got the giant pot at Value Village for about 1o bucks a few years ago (a new one costs a few dollars more and usually isn't much rusted). Work-wise, it saves the cost and mess of using paraffin wax, which needs to be melted and poured carefully over the just-poured fruit. I have the grabber-out-of-boiling-water too, but I can't find the magnetic wand that pulls the sealing lids out of the hot water.

Colon Diaries: no word of results yet. It's been two weeks.

No comments: