Living in the lap of luxury at LilSis’ home, with electricity, TV, and high-speed internet has me spoiled and feeling somewhat guilty, since many of my friends are stuck in homes off the grid with generators running their box fans and refrigerators–local stores closed until further notice.
And so as not to feel like a totally spoiled slug, I joined Heather Here on a little jaunt to her father-in-law’s house to pick muscadine and scuppernong grapes.
We have no idea what all the rest of you were doing today, but this is what we were up to!
It was easy pickin’s, friends. And those grapes were gorgeous on the vines.
And since he came outside and told me he keeps up with the blog, I want to say here, “Thank you, Mr. J. for the beautiful fruit!”
The grapes almost fell off the vines into our hands.
Just look how thick and bountiful.
The cicada likes to cling to the old oak tree down the bayou, but in the big city, they seem to like muscadine vines!
And these are the golden scuppernongs. They have a unique flavor slightly different from the muscadines, but still very pleasant.
Both of these grapes make delicious jelly. And that is exactly what we did when we got home.
First we rinse the fresh-picked muscadines
We measure the whole fruit following the Sure-Jell instructions and add 1.5 C of water.
The fruit then goes on the stove on high until boiling and then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. The skins burst open, releasing the grape juice.
The grapes are then put into a thin cloth (or cheese cloth) and hung over a bowl that catches the juice. Once the dripping slows, we squeeze the bag to get every last drop. Measure 5 cups exactly and pour into the cooking pot. Add the Sure-Jell packet and stir quickly to dissolve. Then cook on high heat, stirring constantly, bringing juice to a full rolling boil.
Next, quickly stir in 7 cups of sugar (which you previously measured in a separate bowl and set nearby.) Now return mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly and then boil for one “timed” minute. Immediately spoon into hot jars and seal with hot lids and bands.
Now the jars go into the boiling pot, where they are covered by at least one inch of water and they boil for ten minutes.
Then remove the jars to a towel to cool and listen for the “POP” assuring you the seal is complete. Music to our ears!
We did this whole process 4 times and ended up with about 2 gallons of jelly. From the picking of the fruit to the jelly in this photo, we worked together for about 7 hours, and it will be worth every moment.