Purple Reign


Yesterday’s plan was to work on finishing up more of the San Marzano and other miscellaneous plum tomatoes from the withering garden.


But as luck would have it, my neighbor called to ask if I’d like some concord grapes.  She had too many. Well of course I would, and 30-40 pounds showed up on my back porch that morning.


I brought them in before the bees caught wind of them and stood in the kitchen inhaling their amazing sweet perfume wondering what I should do with them.  Wine of course, was the first thing that came to mind, because, well, WINE!  But I felt like I should at least give some jelly-making a try since I was in full canning mode anyway. So out came more jars, lids, pectin, my water-bath canner and a “jelly in five easy steps” recipe.


Now, I’m no pro at making jam or jelly.  I’ve done it twice and the last batch came out with the texture of rock candy.  Edible, but definitely not spreadable.


This time around, I pulled a classic rookie move and forgot to place the rack on the bottom of the canner for the first batch, which of course followed by a jar explosion resulting in a pot full of purple sticky water.  I wondered if I should consider it an omen? Should- have-made-wine kind of Omen… It may have just been a bad jar? The water was sure pretty though. Swirling around in the pot like a purple churning sea.


So I got that mess cleaned up and a fresh pot of water boiling.  And, I remembered the rack for my subsequent batches. And my jelly set up nice, and had good flavour and color. And no more explosions!


At last, I stood proud as I reigned over the jelly making game. And now I haven’t a clue what to do with seventeen jars of grape jelly.  Holiday gifts?  I do know what I’ll be making with all my left-over juice however… ~A

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