I went out in search of goldenrod and came home with a basket filled to the brim with wild grapes.
We have grape vines growing up over almost every tree at the edges of our property. It feels like a never ending battle between these and the honeysuckle. Both, luckily, also provide some edibles. Usually the birds get all the grapes before I can pick them though.
This year, I lucked out.
I found a spot where the grapes hung down under a thick stand of honeysuckle. They were just hidden enough that the birds didn’t immediately eat them all. I pulled them off greedily, filling my basket.
Back at home, I de-stemmed them.
I added enough water so you could just see it through the grapes and cooked for a few minutes over medium heat. Then the fun part – smashing them! I used a potato masher to do mine.
You can see all the seeds and skins and lots more juice after smashing.
I continued to cook them for about 20 more minutes then strained out the solids. Check out this gorgeous grape juice!
My recipe said to refrigerate the juice overnight then strain again to get out crystals that tend to form in grape products.
The next day I measured out 3 cups of juice and added a box of powdered fruit pectin. After it came to a boil, I added 4.5 cups of sugar and let it come to a boil again. A minute of rapid boiling and it was ready to go in the jars.
Doesn’t it look like a jewel?!
I added wild grape jelly to my product list.
If you get a chance today, come see me at the Cincinnati Nature Center. I’ll be here selling my goods until 4pm!