Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Weekend at the Farm and a Recipe for Jelly

As the summer comes to a close the weather cools down and leaves begin to change. Weekends spent picking produce from the family garden slows, and the days are filled with more leisure activities. 

The weather was beautiful so I started the weekend with a short run on some of the trails that are cut throughout our property. 

Julie, our family's Yorkie, is a bonafide country girl and lead the way through many of the fields. We also stopped to catch our breath and I snapped a picture of "the princess". 

I should have been a housewife

Many of our fields are lined with wild berry bushes and grape vines, only the latter being in season now. I made a mental note to myself to come back with a picker to gather some of the Concord grapes and find something to make with them, but more on that later. 

The end of our run brought us up through the chicken coops though many of the girls were out roaming the yard and perched in the orchard. 

I should have been a housewife

I should have been a housewife

I should have been a housewife

After I was showered and changed from the run I went back and picked a large bucket filled with Concord grapes. These grapes grow wild all over the farm but we never really picked more than a couple of bunches to have on the table. I found recipe and set out to make my first batch of Concord grape jelly. 

Concord Grape Jelly
5 lbs Concord grapes
5 cups sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

1. Measure out 5 lbs of grapes and separate the meat from their skins puréeing the latter with 1 cup of sugar.

2. Combine the purée with the skinless grapes, remaining 4 cups of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a low pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 25 minutes. 

3. Run mixture through food mill in order to remove seeds and solids. Return liquids to pot and simmer over medium heat for an additional 20 minutes stirring frequently. 

You can also remove any foam that bubbles on the sides of the pot while the mixture is cooking. 

4. To test for doneness, drop a small spoonful of jelly onto a chilled plate and let sit for a minute. The jelly is done when the plate is steeply angled and the mixture no longer runs. Cook no longer than an additional 20 minutes. 

This recipe yielded 6 half-pints of jelly which we canned for use throughout the year. 

I should have been a housewife

That's all for now, thanks for reading!!

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