Thursday, September 10, 2009

As If We Needed ANOTHER Project!

My sister did a post on her blog on Sept. 3rd that coincidentally went right along with something the ESM and I have been discussing in earnest. Preserving food.

I have a lot of the same memories of my grandmother that my sister talks about. She was a pretty fair cook, but she cooked for a farm family. I would think you would become good either in self-defense or just by sheer volume/repetition. But along with her cooking, she could preserve and can most anything you could come up with, and dehydrating was also no mystery to this woman. Most of my memories of the farm are intertwined with the wonderful smells that came from that kitchen most every day.

I remember our family always had a freezer and pantry full of the canned goods that came from the farm. Strawberry jam and raspberry jelly, green beans and such. The one that stands out for me was her wonderful tomato juice! That was such a messy process, but yielded such scrumptious results! Chili made with my grandmother's home-canned tomato

Fast-forward about thirty years and I'm about to embark on an endeavor that would make my grandmother proud. In self-defense, we're going to make homemade grape jelly. Why, you ask? Because I have a whole Nipsey Russell* of grapes growing on the arbor in my new backyard!

They are table grapes we were told by the original owner, and there are both red and green seedless varieties. There is no way we can eat them all before they get overripe, as there is probably a good twenty to thirty pounds of them! So we decided jelly or juice would be the best thing to do. After a little game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock to decide, jelly won (Spock vaporizes rock, BTW). But that means we need a canning outfit to help us put up our jelly.

I have been looking at several kits online, and I think I've narrowed it to this one. It has all the stuff (as I remember), seems reasonably priced and will work with our flat-top stove. I think we may look a couple of other places locally before ordering, but this gives me a good idea what we should pay for a similar kit, or for the individual pieces. It's been a long time since I've even seen this done, but between ESM and myself, I am confident we will prevail. *grin* We'll keep y'all posted on how well we do.

So wish us luck in our journey, and if you have advice, I would welcome it.

--Sundown, Out

* - So, you didn't know Nipsey Russell was a measure of volume, huh? Neither did I, until a good friend of mine used that phrase in my presence many years ago. I liked it so much I immediately added it to my lexicon and continue to use it to this day. It is roughly equivalent to a "metric buttload."


  1. For anyone who's wondering about the odd location the first link in this post goes to: I'm Sundown's sister, and I prefer not to have my personal blog indexed by Google, et al. so I keep the direct link off public places on the web. So Sundown's link instead goes to a public page at my personal website, where anyone who's interested can use the contact information there (it's right at the top of the page, should be pretty obvious) to request the blog link by email--just mention that you came over from here and I'll be happy to get you pointed in the right direction. :-) (You can also get there via my OpenID page, though that takes a few more clicks to get to the right place.)

    And that looks like a good canning setup, BTW, brother dearest--all the basic pieces for a pretty reasonable price. I've looked into canning a time or two myself but the dehydrator seemed better suited to what I wanted to do... and speaking of which, if you still have more grapes than you can deal with after making jelly, I'd take some off your hands to make fruit leather with. ::grins::

  2. Oh, and by the way, when I told my hubby that you had an excess of grapes, his first (and rather eager) question was, "Are they going to make wine?" LOL

  3. ROFL!!
    Well, first from the post, and then from wd's hubby's comment! Good luck, gang! Perhaps this is an endeavor that would benefit from a visual record? (aka, How much of a mess did they REALLY make?)

  4. Oh, Sundown, I'm following as Space Paws now, as well as Kleinwort. Figured this way I'd see you no matter which account I was in.

  5. Well, welcome again Space Paws! I'm hoping to get a new post up today sometime. It's been a few days.


Hey, I tell you what is... is abuse, is bad language, is spam? Oy, is big shoes!