Canning Season

Summer Bounty--Grape Juice

The apples are falling from the Chapel orchard trees.  Before losing myself in apple sauce, I spent a day working with over half a bushel of concord grapes, a gift from my friend Monica.  Our family doesn’t care for grape jelly, but we love sparkling grape juice, especially as a treat on the holiday table.  Years ago, my neighbor, Julie, shared a simple recipe for a delicious grape juice beverage that tastes  like Welch’s,  only fresher, organic and more economical.

The processed half a bushel of grapes produced fifteen quarts of home canned juice–the easy way.  No need to seed them or crush them or pre-cook them to release the juice–just put 2 cups of fresh grapes in a sterilized quart canning jar, add 1/3 cup sugar, fill with boiling water leaving a 2-inch head space, and seal with new lids and rings.  Process the quarts in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool overnight.

To enjoy, strain juice from grapes through a mesh strainer.  Press the pulp with the back of a spoon to release all of the juice; discard pulp.  To make sparkling grape juice, add carbonated soda water to juice according to taste.  DELICIOUS!

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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