a convergence of tea time thoughts for ladies

concord grape jam

100_0712Before I got to the jam, I made juice.   I started with these, concord grapes.  I never made grape jam, only plum butter, apple butter… and a few others.

100_0714 After I took them off the stems, I crockpoted them for a few hours since I made  some juice first.

 

100_0713 Used this food mill  for the juice. My mom gave me this food mill  which she used all the while us kids were growing up and she made a lot of apple sauce with this!  below photo- quarts of grape juice.

grape juice

Now onto Jam!  It’s the skins on the grapes that make the jam so rich and good.

grape skins When I was looking up jam on the internet, I kept reading (in all recipes) about popping the grape out of the skins.  How time consuming, I thought!  After I made some juice and used the food mill, I realized that the work is either in the hand food mill or the time consuming part of taking the skins off.   I took the skins off for the jam and started even enjoying it!  Here are the skins after 30 seconds in the vita mix.

grapes with skins off After popping the skins free, the food mill part was so much easier since I only had the inside of the grape and the seeds.  I did  NOT Crockpot this jam, only the grape juice.  I cooked the jam on the stovetop in a copper bottom saucepan in small batches  which is the secret to good jam (from what I experienced).

taste test grape jam Like the labels I made on the computer?  On the plate is  a representation of my 4 batches, not counting the sure gel batch of 4 jars that didn’t thicken enough.   The jars ( jam shown is not the sure gel batch, it’s #3 batch).  from left to right on plate:

  1. cooked too long, not rubberlike, but almost.
  2. not too bad.  Only 1 jar of this.
  3. Pretty good flavor and consistency.
  4. Blue ribbon winner!  Too bad it only made 1 and a half pints.  Needed more jam jars like the ones pictured, but didn’t have them.

I have bread rising today to  have with this jam.

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