Friday, October 14, 2011

Grape picken and canning

Last weekend I spent picking the batch of concord grapes that I have growing in my back yard. I love that I have a wonderful garden every year and thankful for the bounty I always get. My grape vines are awesome, they produce so much fruit! I also have blackberry's and apples, so for months on end it's picken time.

This year my friend Kelly came over and helped me pick and make jelly...we also infused several gallons of cheap vodka in taste like grape juice when it's done!

I love canning, it makes me feel like I'm getting back to my roots or something. I always get a picture in my mind of the women of yesteryear.

Canning isn't too hard, it's all in the preparing but it is a process. Here's a few picks form this years batch!

I have the best results with Sure Jell

Cheese sloth for straining. I put this over my metal strainer.

My friend Kelly picken away!

This was one of two large vats picked that day

Cheap vodka, mason jars and a scale that measures lbs. Got this one on sale at Ikea for less than $5!!

Mashen the grapes and getting ready to add 7 cups of sugar!!!

Me pre heating the jars to make them hot before adding the hot grape jelly

Sterilizing and sealing the jars in the canner

You make sure that at least 2" of water cover the tops and boil for 5 minutes

Infusing grapes is easy, just mash some grapes and add the liquor. Shake the jar every few days, strain and enjoy!

That's a lot of sweet jelly!
The next morning I infused another gallon of vodka with this yummy recipe.
Pictures to come!

Spicy Pear Vodka
3 Ripe Pears, cored, pealed and cut in cubes
a couple of cinnamon sticks broken up
a little sugar ( I think I used about 1/3 cup)
1 vanilla bean ( I used pure vanilla extract about a splash :)

Put on the stove and let it cook for about 5 min. Mash the pear a bit.
Add to mason jars and add vodka. 
Store in cupboard and shake every few days. You can strain it after 7 days or before, taste to test

Serve with any juice but really good over ice with water too

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