Friday, October 03, 2008

Grape Juice Reality Check

I overheard the wrinkled elderly woman in front of me in the grocery store explaining to her friend her plans of canning grape juice that day. I leaned over to see mason jars and 5 lb. of sugar in her cart.

I waited for a pause, and barged my way into her conversation. I'm making grape juice today as well! It's my first time canning. I smiled smugly, and felt warm fuzzies at the thought of talking homemaking with this probably well seasoned home canner.

That is so nice, dear. I was beaming at this point - proud to be part of the club of self-reliant women. She continued with her conversation, explaining her simple way of making grape juice in only one step - juicing the grapes in a special double boiler and placing the juice in hot jars leading to an immediate seal.
My zeal was replaced by suspicion. Only one step? There's sure to be plenty of silt! I thought. And no processing time to ensure sterility? Tsk tsk.
When I told her I was doing it the old fashioned way, she was surprised. That's going to take quite a bit of time, she said, years of canning wisdom rampant in her eyes.
I didn't mind, I'd done the research. My recipe had been known to win first prize ribbons at fairs across the nation.
For two days I washed, mashed, and cooked grapes. I strained pulp through cheesecloth and again through coffee filters. I processed at the exact temperature for the appropriate amount of time.
In the end I had 12 perfectly sealed jars of beautiful concentrated grape juice (with a little too much headspace). The juice was clear and flavorful - and not one grain of silt!

But I'll never get those hours of my life back.

6 comments:

Rebecca said...

I don't think I had ever had canned grape juice until like a year ago. It's gooooood! You da pro.

Peggy said...

But Megs, you can be secretly smug that your grape juice was far superior to the old wrinkled lady....wait. I was in the grocery store the other day talking about making grape juice....was that you who barged into my conversation? I didn't have my contacts in...what do you mean wrinkled???

Peggy said...

But Megs, you can be secretly smug that your grape juice was far superior to the old wrinkled lady....wait. I was in the grocery store the other day talking about making grape juice....was that you who barged into my conversation? I didn't have my contacts in...what do you mean wrinkled???

Lindemans said...

Mmm...canned grape juice is the best! We make a yummy drink with grape juice, lemonaide and Sprite. It's the best with homemade grape juice. Yum, I want some now! I'm proud of you Megs, you're just a regular homemaker now aren't you? BTW, my mom lives in Meridian, ID. Is that close to Nampa? I've never been to visit her but maybe I will if it's close to where you live--It's like forcing you to see me! LOL!

Jeff Hamm said...

Sounds delicious, though too much work for me! I bet that makes it taste that much better.

Amazed said...

You are SOOOO the overachiever! My husband drinks his grape juice with silt. We go for the fiber-rich, one-step-unsuperior method around here.....

I don't drink it myself.