Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Preserving food and memories

I was cleaning out my fridge on Sunday afternoon and realized I had my own hoard of grapes that were on their way to the compost bin.  Now, I'll admit that I'm cheap a little thrifty and I HATE to throw food out.  So I decided to make some jam.

I accidentally bought seeded grapes a couple of weeks ago and while they were tasty, the kids hated the seeds and refused to eat them.  So I combined them with some "black" grapes we had and regular red grapes.  Apparently I forgot we already had some and bought more...  And then to both clean out the fridge more and add more fruit to our mixture, I threw in most of a bag of fresh cranberries.

I heated this mixture up until it was mashable and then the kids helped me mash the fruit over a sieve to get out all of the juice and pulp, leaving the seeds and skins behind.  I didn't mind small bits of pulp or skin getting in the mix, but I hate seeds in my jam. No one wants to bite down on a seed during a breakfast of biscuits and jam.  :)


Then we boiled the fruit with a little touch of grape juice from the fridge, some cinnamon, ginger, and a little vanilla and about 2 cups of sugar and hoped for the best.  I know the sugar is necessary to help with the gelling process, but I hate having more sugar than fruit in something I'm giving the kids, so I always add as little as I think I can get away with and then add a little more here and there.  ;)

The kids even helped me pour it into jars--it only made a pint and half.  But for an impromptu fridge-cleaning turned food preservation lesson, I'm happy with our little experiment.

And the color turned out so pretty, it makes me smile.


So many of my friends are afraid of canning, and while there are precautions you need to take to ensure food safety, I always encourage people to try it.  It's easy, especially when you do small batches like we did on Sunday.  While a pantry full of canned jams and jellies is great--there's no shame in making a jar or two here and there when the need arises.

I'm linking up with Debbie and her Tuesdays at the Table party.

5 comments:

  1. I love your resourcefulness. I hate wasting food too. One of these days I'll try canning. It looks like a lot of yummy fun.

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  2. Very cool! Love "clean out the fridge" projects like that!

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  3. I love it! I get so annoyed when I let food go to waste, though it does happen more than i like around here. such a fun project for you and the kids. And I agree, canning is really fun and so satisfying. I used to think I could only do it when I was overrun with produce from the garden but it really is more enjoyable when you just have small batches to put up!

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  4. Nice! I hate to throw away any food either, and am also an avid canner / freezer.

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