Thursday, October 9, 2008

Grape Juice

Here is today's project. I have to thank my neighbor Jane for offering me all the grapes I want from her vines! We have a couple of grape vines, one of which is up on an arbor Jeff built, but is too small to have many grapes on it yet. The other needs to be up on a new arbor, because the deer knocked it over once already, and have eaten most of the grapes that were on it! Grrrr...I really didn't want the deer to get my grapes, but oh well. Next year will the year I will make time to prevent it from happening. (HOW I will prevent it is yet to be determined! LOL)

Anyway, I wasn't going to have enough of my own grapes for juice this year, so I'm really happy that Jane offered me hers!! I have the best thing....a steam juicer. This makes it so easy to make juice. Pick the neighbor's grapes, wash them, and throw them in the juicer. Wait for the steam to separate the juice from the pulp (about an hour) and then fill hot, sterilized quart jars with the VERY hot juice. (Feel anxious trying to fill a hot jar with hot juice, while holding the jar with a potholder--dropping a jar of purple grape juice on a new tile floor? That would be PRICELESS). Put the hot jars of juice in a boiling water canner, and process for 10 minutes ( for my altitude).

I do not sweeten my juice until I open a jar to use it. At this point, I pour one quart jar of juice (which is concentrated) into a two-quart jug. I add 3/4-1 cup of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the grapes, and 1 quart of water. Mix and enjoy!

One year, I had another neighbor offer me a lot of plums, and he recommended juicing them, saying that the juice tastes similar to grape. I did that, and I actually couldn't really tell the difference. So FYI, purple plum juice tastes just like purple grape juice.

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