Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jam Is Gelled!

So, the grape jam is all jammed up! And so is the kitchen, but that's another story, didn't have time to clean up or was too tired, or NCIS was on the tube, take your pick, but the jam is done.
All jars sealed and this morning, just because, I flipped them over. I don't know why you do this, but they used to, so I do.
I haven't tried it yet, maybe tonight.

Just eyeballing the big bowl of picked grapes, I estimated 2 gallons of grapes, and complete with the added sugar, minus the skins and seeds I got 4 quarts and 3 pints. Pretty good.

Monday night (when I should have been jamming, but decided to go spinning instead), I went spinning. Not the riding the imaginary bike up and down imaginary hills kind of spinning, but the turning fibers into yarn variety. It's been awhile so I had to get tuned back in, but luckily, I have "J", the spinning extrordinaire instructor at my disposal, she got me going again. I had a nubby pink/blue/off white/brownish fiber that jumped out and attacked me while having early morning coffee in a very small Colorado Cafe. Go figure. I had to have it, you know how it is. It is spinning up into a very nice, trying to keep it a sport/sock ish weight, fiber, maybe a shawl will magically emerge from the bobbins full of this stuff.

Tonight Survivor starts, more knitting of the baby sweaters due in mid November, and maybe we'll get the bike that doesn't run taken over to the "bike that doesn't run so I'll fix it" guy.

Life is Good!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grapes, Grapes and More Grapes!

I got grapes (concord)!
5 or so years ago, hubby bought me a grape plant for mother's day, or an anniversary, or a birthday, I don't remember. I planted it out in the yard and it entertained me for a few years. I cut off the grape vines, made stuff out of them, and occasionally would it provide me with a handful of yummy, tart grapes.

This year, I GOT GRAPES! Lots and lots of grapes. And they are soooo yummy. They have seeds, but no matter.

So this morning I went out and gathered them all up, not sure what I would do with them. Showed them to hubby and he said "jelly"! I said, "no"!

I don't make jelly, only because I can't stand to throw away all of that flavorful pulp just to make a clear jelly, so we compromised on jam.

Never made grape jam before, so I Googled a recipe and came up with the one below. Have a birthday party to go to this afternoon, so later on today I'll make my jam. I'm estimating I have about 2 gallons of grapes, so that should make for quite a bit of jam. Sooo excited.

Still have to gather up the remaining tomatoes, we will likely have frost this week, and the cabbages are almost ready too.

The steers have been butchered and the new roosters are starting to fertilize eggs (red spots when I crack them open).

Fall on the farm! Time for harvest, and this year, harvest I will. Didn't plant any pumpkins so I'll have to buy some, but that's ok. I'll put them out on the front deck for decorations, then can them up for pies and butters in the winter. After the first hard freeze I'll go after apples. Hoping to make tons of butters and applesauce. Yum! The smells of autumn in the kitchen.

Grandson #1 got his first deer this morning, very excited for him, now he can enjoy venison that he actually harvested.

Lit the woodstove for the first time this season last night. It only got down to about 39, but it's been cool for a few days, so the cabin is starting to cool down. Time to bring up more wood to the deck! I LOVE the hustle and bustle of autumn, and the colors of the trees? Let's not even go there. Spectacular!!

Taking a motorcycle trip over to the Western side of Michigan in a week or so to see the colors over there! Can't wait!!

This weekend was the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wood Festival and while I didn't do much shopping, I did take a couple of classes. One was in hand painting sock blanks, and the other was knitting 2 socks at once. It was fun and relaxing. Between classes I sat on a picnic table outside and enjoyed the smell of the cooking vendors and the cool breeze blowing through the gigantic oaks out on the fairgrounds.

Life is Good!!

Grape Jam

2 qts of grapes
6 cups of sugar.

Wash and mash the grapes in a stock pot, mash them to get the juices flowing
Heat until soft, then run through a mill to get rid of seeds (keep them in the fridge so they can be germinated next year!)
Stir in 6 cups of sugar
Bring to a boil and boil rapidly until the sugar is dissolved. Skim off any foam.
When it has boiled long enough that the cooled jam is of gel consistency (a frozen spoon will tell you immediately if it's cooked long enough) ladle it into clean, sterilized jars.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 mins (either pints or quarts).

I'll let you know how it turns out!