Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grape Jelly

There were five kids in our family, so you know mother had to try to stretch every dollar she had. 

One of the ways she did this was to can and preserve many things. 

One of our  relatives had a big line of Concord grape vines growing at the back of their property.

I remember one year we were able to pick more than one bushel of the big juicy  grapes.

I don't recall all of the steps involved in jelly making, probably because we were shooed out of the kitchen so as not to get in the way.

I do remember the big bubbling cauldron of hot mashed grapes.  And the odd aluminum cone strainer that she used to separate out the skins and seeds.

It was a messy process. After running the grapes thru the mill she would strain it thru cheese cloth.   
Some people use special small matching jars for jelly.  Mom just saved whatever jars she could during the year. 

The jars were boiled in hot water to sterilize them. 
After being filled, she poured hot wax onto the top of the jelly to seal the jars.

Some of the best jars were saved for gifts or exchanges, but most of the jelly was used on our toast or peanut butter sandwiches. 

Smucker's might make pretty good jams and jellies, but my Mom's was the best.

Audio Version: Merikay tells the Story

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