This is the third year Glenn and I have been growing grapes, but the first year we actually have a crop. In the summer of 2010, our niece Kelly wed the love of her life, Jason, in our backyard. For that summer, our designated vegetable garden became a flower garden and we had a pergola built in the center. This is where the actual wedding ceremony was held. It was beautiful 🙂 Fast forward to the present day, the pergola is now home to our magnificent grape vines. It wasn’t until I saw a post by fellow blogger, Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts, for Concord Grape Jam that I got inspired. I don’t know why, but it never dawned on me that we could actually use these grapes. Duh!! I was just kind of stuck in the “wine frame of mind”, and I knew I didn’t want concord grape wine…juice maybe. But definitely not wine. So thanks to the post I saw, Glenn and I were off and running. I consulted with my trusty Ball Blue Book, my bible for all things canning and freezing. We managed to crank out three batches of jelly, 1 with fruit pectin and 2 without, on a Saturday morning. We hardly fought [at least not like a day long ago hanging wallpaper…that’s another story! hah], only Glenn’s hands got stained purple [lucky me] and we used up our entire yield of grapes [15 pounds!]. This jelly turned out fantastic. Definitely equal to if not better than anything I’ve ever bought in a store. And there’s definitely a sense of pride knowing it was made in our kitchen, by us, using grapes we grew. Who knew something so basic could be something so rewarding?
As I began the process of typing out this post, I consulted the “inspiring” post at Simply Homemade Kitchen & Crafts, and lo and behold, it’s the same recipe…she just calls her jam and I call mine jelly! So I’m going to “cheat” and post the link to her recipe and instructions, my pics are below for inspiration and documented proof that we actually did indeed make the jelly 😉