Flight of the Concord (Jam)

I went to pick up our second CSA box today. Not as exciting (no alien shaped things) but still full of delicious local foods. It made me realize how far behind I was in my blogging about the last CSA box. Without further adieu:

From Food

Concord grapes are my least favourite grapes. They are my friend Paula's favourite. That happens a lot. She likes the outside crust of bread, I like the inside. She likes the tips of the asparagus, I like the bottoms. She likes the melty outside icecream of the breyer's container, I like the cold, firm inside. She likes smushy concord grapes, I like grapes that are crunchy and not squidgy in the least.

So it was an absolute relief when Dustin suggested making a jam out of the grapes.

I googled and googled for a recipe, but I kept reading about this ridiculous "jelly cloth" that I needed to use to drain the liquid. I assume it was like a cheese cloth. Which I did not have. And didn't they always tell you that the nutrients were packed in the skin?

So I finally found this recipe from epicurious.com. No jelly cloth. But it calls for a food mill. Which I owned (thanks mom) but after I used it, I decided that it didn't really do anything.

I also didn't really skim the surface. Lazy, I know. But I needed every short cut I could get, because the first step was squishing every single grape between our fingers and separating the grape guts from the skins. Dustin helped. We bonded. And squished.

From Food

Here are my revised instructions:

1. Squish 2lbs of concord grapes with your fingers and separate the skins and the guts. (Yes, only 2lbs. Who has more than 2lbs of grapes?! Okay, if you do, then multiply the recipe.)

2. Food process the skins with 1/2 cup of sugar.

3. Add the guts and the skins to a heavy pot. Add another cup or cup and a half of sugar and the juice of a lemon. Or a half lemon. Or grapefruit. Whatever you have lying around. (I may have added some orange liqueur as well. Ina does in her strawberry jam recipe. I want to be like Ina.)

4. Boil it for a really long time. Maybe an hour? Stir it every so often. When it looks kinda thick, it's done! You can test it by dropping a blob onto a plate, letting it cool and seeing if it's thick enough for your liking.

Although concord grapes (juice, jam, or eau de toilette) always reminds me of church communion, the end product was still delicious. We made two small jars of jam with that basket of grapes. Those grapes were toast! Er, that toast is jammed... It all tastes grape to me!

From Food

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