Purple Reign

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Busted!

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!

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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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