>> Thursday, July 22, 2010
Some of us take many things for granted. But before you think I'm going to give you a moral lesson hold on - this is a food blog after all. What I mean by this is that some of us don't notice nor appreciate the ordinary everyday simple foods. When we arrived in Europe it was Mexican ingredients like tortillas, chili peppers, my Mother's home cooking that made me realize I took for granted and did not appreciate enough when I had them available everyday if I wished. Sure there were other realizations of foods and mostly conveniences that I had been expose to from living in the US. But I won't bore you with a long list of things both my husband and I miss from back home, I'm going to focus on just one. Grape Jelly/ Jam. That's right, grape jelly, for my North American readers I bet you take it for granted.
Some of you may think this is a little weird, how can we miss grape jelly surely there must be grape jelly available in Europe. We searched in 6 different countries and never came across a single jar of grape jelly-jam-preserve. Now I'm not saying that it just doesn't exist, we just never found any. Well let me tell you a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich just isn't the same with any other flavor of jelly. I like to joke with my husband that Europeans turn all their grapes into wine and so there none left over to make grape jelly. Ok that's a goofy exaggeration because there are fresh grapes for sale all over, so not all grapes are turned into wine. (Wait you know I don't think I've seen grape juice here either, wow I'll have to double check the grocery store next time. ) And so not wanting my poor husband to endure a grape jelly-less existence I took it upon myself to surprise him by making our very own grape jelly.
I have been using this recipe and making our very own grape jam for about 5 years now. I actually call this grape jam because I use the whole fruit, minus the seeds of course, rather than using just juice which would then classify this as a jelly. This is my recipe for easy , relatively fast, small portion for 2 grape jam craving individuals who won't be accidently poisoned by incorrect canning procedure - refrigerator safe grape Jam!
1.5 lb. or 680 grams dark grapes
1 1/2 cups or 300 grams Dr. Oetker Gelfix Extra 2:1
( this is a Gelation Sugar with pectin from apples and citrus fruits) Premium Fruit Pectin
1/2 cup or 120 ml of water
1. Wash and remove grapes from stems. Place the grapes inside the pot and pour the water over the grapes cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled use a potato masher to crush the grapes to break them down further. You should have a very watery juice with most of the grapes broken down and skins separated. Boil for another 5 minutes.
2. Place a strainer over a large bowl or another pot. Strain the grapes and use a spoon to push the remaining grape chunks through and break them up. Now you'll need to pick out and discard as many of the seeds , that is if you used a grape variety with seeds. The grape skins should be placed inside a blender with the grape juice that was just strained. * Please note that I like to use the grape skins in my jam, if you do not want to you will again need to strain the grape juice and discard the remaining grape skins. *
I bet you wont look at your grape jelly the same ever again. Now I ask you if you've moved away from home is there something you miss terribly and just can't find in your new home?