Canning and Planning for the Upcoming Months

Homemade grape juiceIt’s Foodie Friday and we’ve been canning homemade grape juice. We use my mother’s recipe, hence every jar conjures up childhood memories of sweet, purple purity (unlike the artificial, high-fructose infiltrations we have today). I’ll share the recipe below, it’s super easy peasy. Anyway, we did 53 quarts and that means we can enjoy our little vineyard at least once a week for the next 12 months. That, my friends, is how I plan all my gardening and preservation.

I’ve also been planning ahead for Adunate. This is my 10th year in business and I want to do something equally sweet for my clients who’ve made ten years possible. I haven’t finalized my plans but I do know one thing, come this Christmas I’m not going to be rushing around at the last minute. With that in mind, this week I went to Ascentives‘ Customer Appreciation & Product Showcase. What fun! I came away with oodles of samples—gotta love those!—and some neat ideas.

Business owners, what are you doing for your clients this holiday season? Customers, what holiday gifts stand out as special to you? I’m brainstorming ideas, so please share!

In the meantime, here’s the juice recipe:

Homemade Grape Juice

This year we started using a refractometer to measure the brix (sugar content) of our grapes. It’s divine! This means I can take detailed record of brix levels and hopefully eliminate the uncertainty of how much sugar to add to the juice. Last weekend we picked our Concord grapes at 18 brix, Frontenac Gris at 22, and Marquette and Frontenac at 24. 

Per 1-quart jar:

  • 1-1/2 cups washed, de-stemmed grapes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cups sugar (different grape varieties require different amounts, depending on their brix. I used 1/3 cup, plus or minus)
  • Boiling water

Fill each sanitized jar with grapes and sugar. Top off with boiling water. Skim off any floating whatevers (dried grapes, chaff and, yes, even a few tiny black bugs—this is homemade goodness, after all:-). Seal for canning and process 20 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

When it’s time to indulge, simply pour the juice through a strainer, discard the grapes, and enjoy your tasty nectar!


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