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    Rolling Hills of Cavan, Ontario

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  1. Good point, helenjp. A few folks are coming out to the farm to collect grapes to make jelly. I asked one thing of them...please educate yourselves as to what the other berries (toxic) on the farm look like...mainly Virginia Creeper and Buckthorn. Also Dogwood. At least know exactly what you are looking for: grape vines...leaves, berries, tendrils, etc. So one couple was coming a few days ago. Had she done it? No. Not in the slightest? Will she do it now that I have made it clear again? I doubt it. Am I now nervous turning them loose on the farm? You bet. That means I have to accompany the couple in this process. Am I slightly annoyed? Yes. You ask yourself...well why didn't they turn up the afternoon they said they were coming? I won't answer that one, but Ed keeps reminding me....50%....50%...
  2. No one has ever said to me...wow, you have such a good sense of proprioception. We even gave up living in a fair sized trailer because I could not live in that confined area without bumping and banging and hurting, etc. And yes, the index finger on my left hand is healing where I cut right into it while snipping the grapes off the vines a few days ago, thank you. No, no the butcher paper would not help. You can't put it on the floor and the walls and the other stuff in the kitchen. Oh, and my ruined t-shirt. Grape juice is insidious. I'm so much better off making ice cream. But I am having a lot of fun.
  3. You are correct CD but I probably will just let this one go by. Yesterday I gave a jar of grape jelly to the field naturalist and his daughter who came to walk our trail and particularly to see the Butternut trees with nuts on them. (As I have noted a number of times in posts, Butternuts are on the endangered list in Ontario and the last thing you want is to buy a piece of pin order to build a house and then discover it has Butternut trees on it and bango, you are in trouble with our provincial organization for the preservation of this, that and the other thing, ORCA. We have at least four but they are not near our house.) I made them promise to put it right into the fridge. I just won't give them away any other way. It's no use. But many thanks for the encouragement.
  4. I have both raisins and currants in my storage bins but I loathe Butter Tarts from the get-go. I could just say that they are too sweet for my taste...but honestly I find them sickeningly sweet and they make my teeth call out "NO!".
  5. A lot of sugar. Ed was almost shocked when I read him the recipe. Three cups of grape juice and 4 1/2 cups of sugar. And it's not sweet in a way which I would find difficult. As in I can't stand Butter Tarts...they make my teeth hurt.
  6. Thanks all for replies. For some reason, I suddenly didn't get any notice of these replies. But then computers have their special ways. As for the counters...yes, I'd like them...but Ed won't let anyone else do any of the work so ...so I'll just stop here. I'll look up Jubilee. Remember I live in Canada and we don't have many of the American products. As for giving food away...I've done it for years now. Pretty much everything...except stuff which is supposed to sit on a shelf. So far, I've asked the recipients to put the jelly into their fridges. But I like @Shelby's idea. And TicTac, you don't eat wild grapes from the vine. Right. They are sour in the extreme. And the only thing I have done with them is make jelly and I have no other plans. We hadn't had them on the farm for the last 20 years or so and then suddenly last year they were there. In masses. Well, this year there are even more and the situation is going to call for pulling them down and cutting them before they take over the non-farmed areas and smother the flowers and kill all the trees.
  7. I will never again...oh yes I will...hold several bunches of wild grapes in my left hand while cutting just one more with scissors in my right hand...and...cut right into the index finger of my left hand with said scissors. I believe I mentioned proprioception already in another post this morning. So now I have a right hand recovering from surgery (and not as well as I would like for sure) and a finger in my left hand hurting because I tried to cut into it. Oh well, the blood is the same color as the grape juice pretty well. Just kidding...there's no blood in the grape jelly.
  8. We went out and picked some more wild grapes last night. That's a week later than the first bunch. Wow! The grapes were all blue in the area we found. Almost no green ones. But then there are still completely green bunches in some places on the trail. I guess it's sort of like tomatoes ripening. I have two questions: 1. Our kitchen counters are 25 years old and not in very good condition any more. They are inexpensive Formica and we are faced with either pleasing ourselves and replacing them now in our final years on the farm and then having to replace them anyway to sell the farm...we can have little idea of how long we'll be able to cope...or just living with the increasingly not-loveliness of it all and then replacing them. We are pushing the end of our existence here...I guess. So....in the interim, the counters are currently getting splashed, dripped on, etc, with staining grape juices. I keep cleaning them off, using Comet to erase the stains, (that's Canadian Comet which still contains the ingredient now absent in the USA version). Should I just leave the stains until this foray is over and then do them once? Or will the stains set in over the next two weeks and not be removable? 2. I've never given away anything like jelly which is "preserved" and presumably not needing cold storage. I don't know anyone off this forum who does any more. And I'm terrified about poisoning someone. I'm not very proprioceptive and fear I'll somehow contaminate the process. How serious is it if someone eats jelly with 'bad things' in it? Can you die? I can't get a straight answer on Google yet. Thanks for the help. Darienne
  9. Eleven years on eGullet in August 2019.  Great place to be.

  10. Three sets of jars filled. And each set bringing a new small chaos to be dealt with as I struggle to learn a new skill. Thanks again, @teonzo. And yesterday Ed halved and peeled 5 pounds of cooking onions and I sent them through the food processor slicer (thanks, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for having me learn all the incredible things my food processor will do that I always did by hand like a Luddite). I am always stunned by how small an amount is collected from how large an amount after the liquid is all gone. And now neighbors come to collect grapes and soon it will be apples we start working on. And then other neighbors will come and collect apples...ones who don't want to make grape jelly. And in the meantime, hordes of cherries...no I don't know what kind...are left for the birds. ps. I am of course not thanking teonzo for the chaos, but rather for the sound advice. The chaos is mine alone.
  11. Wow! Thanks tremendously. With all the information about how to do this and that, I felt as if I were drowning in it, trying to pick one to follow, and now your post. I'm going to follow it. If I change later how I do it, well that's fine too. (That's what I always advise folks about changing their dogs' diets to raw. Don't drown in research and be stymied by the contradictions. Just pick one that sounds decent. Follow it. And then later...)
  12. There's long range preserving and canning and pickling and so on...and then there's short range preserving of one's sanity when one's husband, who is a dear and does the grocery shopping now so as I can survive with a calm demeanor and bearable amounts of energy, comes home with 10 pounds of cooking onions, and 10 pounds of parsnips and 10 pounds of carrots and a huge cauliflower and a huge bunch of broccoli and four gigantic colored peppers and 4 ears of corn whilst one is already immersed, nay mired, in making wild grape jelly and apple cider, sauce and leather....AND...all the time one is recovering from a not very good hand repair (so far. We live in hope.). Ed is downstairs in his studio peeling and chopping and cutting and slicing while I deal with what comes upstairs in a variety of fashions.
  13. I've heard contrary to the dishwasher sterilizing method...that it's just not hot enough for long enough. And then you'd have to trust that your dishwasher was still in its prime.
  14. Sterilizing virgin wants to know: (Now I did sterilize my babies' milk bottles but that was more than 54 years ago) I've never made anything and sterilized it in a mason jar. Last year I made grape jelly and put all of it in the freezer. This year I have been gifted with many small mason jars and lids and more wild grapes than anyone could dream of (next we have to de-vine our land or be taken over by the wild grapes) and am determined to do the right thing by it and give much away. (If you live near east central Ontario, pm me and feel free to come and collect.) I've read about sterilizing jars and lids in water and in the oven. Which is the easiest and safest for an old novice klutz to use? Thanks for any advice.
  15. I'm still gasping at the prices even before translating them into Canadian funds.
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