It is grape season and Roger’s Red grape (Vitis ‘Roger’s Red) is loaded up again this year. According to San Marcos Growers, this grape, selected by Roger Raiche, carries the genes of our wild grape (Vitis californica) and the commercial grape (Vitis vinifera). Whatever it is, it is a great garden, deciduous vine that turns bright red in fall after producing bunches of delicious dark purple grapes in late summer.
Bunch of Roger’s Red grapes (Vitis ‘Roger’s Red’).
Last year I made iced tea, lemonade, grape juice drink, flavored with wild sage (August 2010). It was amazing!
This year it is going to be grape jelly. Just the beginning! But picking is the easy part.
Lots of grapes. Now to clean them.
All cleaned. Bought new canning jars, collected supplies and equipment and ready to go.
Although I checked a recipe on the web, I went with the recipe in the box of Sure-Jell pectin.
I had 2.5 pounds of grape. A foley mill works well to juice the grapes, and separate out the seeds and skin. Takes time!
I love the color of the grapes.
And especially of the juice. I came up with 2.5 cups of juice.
Cooking the grape juice, pectin (1/2 box) and sugar.
It jelled perfectly and tastes delicious.
Made four 8 ounce jars. I had exactly half the amount of grape juice called for in the recipe so I only got 4 jars. Chanukah presents for my husband and three kids. But my husband opened his already… he is going to be sad in December!
The jelly worked out fine but it is a lot of work. The grape juice, without sugar, is more delicious to me than the jelly, so next year I am going to save myself the trouble and make ice cubes of grape juice. Add some home-made lemonade, and wild sage, and with or without a little “attitude adjuster” it is a winning combination.