Friday, July 15, 2011

My Grapes of Wrath

I actually have a passion that I haven't talked about much, but that is definitely there.
 It's cooking!

But not just any type of cooking...I like to make things from scratch.
I am obsessed with food processing and what goes into turning one thing into something completely different.   I grind all my wheat, and make all the bread we consume. 
I make Greek Yogurt and all kinds of other wacky things that most people just buy at the store.

It all started in college when I saw a block of tofu.
I knew it came from soy, but how?
How did you turn a green soy bean into a perfectly white and square jelly block that tastes like nothing.
I ended up going to Culinary School and I loved learning the basics, but I knew that I was not cut out for the gastronomy industry. I like cooking at home for those who I love.
Luckily I married a guy who loves to garden and has transformed our back yard into a fruiting paradise.
For my hubby it's a hobby,
he starts his seed research and collecting in January,
gets it all ordered by February and starts the seedlings soon after.
For this I am grateful,
because it has allowed me to wander into my back yard and see what is ripe
and transform it into something else.
This last month we have been busy harvesting
 tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini, eggplant,
blackberries and grapes!

Lots and lots of them!
  One bucket of white and three 5 gal. buckets of red!

I always fantasized about what I would do with these many grapes, and this last week I had my chance of fining out! It took us one hour to clean two buckets.  Then a whole day of processing them into Grape Jelly!
We blended,
Then added pectin and lots and lots of sugar!  Let me tell you right now, no one has enough sugar in their home to make this much jelly!

Then we cooked it, maybe a little too much, we were not sure for how long to cook it. 
But then we figured that we would chance it and call it done.  So we ladled them into the containers, we ran out of containers, so we had to run out and get more before pressure cooking it. 
Needless to say, it was midnight when we got done, and the last thing I want right now is
Grape Jelly!


  1. Looks gorgeous! And I'm so impressed! It took me almost an hour to go through the ones I got.

  2. I am supremely impressed!!! Nearly beyond words! And, I admit...I am a little jealous. This sounds awesome. :-)

  3. Oooh consider me super jealous, S! I try every year to have a garden and every year I weed, fertilize, weed, water, weed, etc and still have to go buy our stuff from the Amish. And I LOVE grape jelly - enjoy some for me!

  4. Erin, I had Mack working with me, so we made better time.

    Ellen, it is awesome, a lot of work but I really enjoy it!

    Amanda, my husband has failed many times with our garden and we just mark it down as "what not to do next time". This year he only got seeds for vegetables that grow in hot climates. We have some funky stuff from Afganistan and Brazil and all over the world! Enough to fill a whole different blog with!

  5. i am SOO interested! i love cooking from scratch too, though we can't grow much by way of a garden here... (not enough sun of all funny problems to have in texas, our neighbor's tree shades our tiny back porch), but any time you want someone else to play in the kitchen with, call me! so fun! :)

    and the jelly looks awesome!

  6. Yummy Silvina!! Bring some to the reunion for me & some for the family auction:)

  7. Linda, you publish I can!

    Elise,I'll call you next time for sure!

    Holly, I wish I could bring them but they are heavy and messy (if they brake).

  8. Very interesting, S.B. I applaud you for putting in that effort. I'm also glad you didn't turn those grapes into raisins! Lol! I'm kidding, of course. My day-job is a supervisor on the Packaging floor at Sun-Maid - you might be familiar with the lady on the red box? That's us.

    Have a great weekend,


  9. Jimmy, I am familiar with her! I buy her golden raisins all the time. I make this delicious Indian dessert-type dish with them and ground almonds. Yum!

  10. I just finished with figs and peaches! Understand completely! Just popping in to say hi and see what you were up to! Donna

  11. oh my gosh, thats really impressive that you cook from scratch! Its so much healthier that way.