|Ripe grapes in Michigan|
To have our own supply I have planted 5 grape vines in the last 3 years. Three are doing very well; two are struggling, but hopefully we will have our own grape harvest.
|Ripe grapes in the Smoky Mountains|
|Wash the grapes and remove stems|
Wash grapes and remove from the stems. Measure approximately 17 cups of grapes. In a large 6 quart pot combine grapes and 2 ½ cups of water.
|Gently mash the grapes|
Mash the grapes gently with a potato masher to help release more juice and flavor. Cover and bring just to a simmer. Simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer until grapes are soft.
|Simmer grapes 10 to 15 minutes and until soft|
Remove pot from the heat. Strain grapes through a canning jelly bag or colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Press on grapes gently to extract the juice. Strain juice again if desired to produce a clearer juice.
|Strain the grape juice removing all bits and pieces of grapes and seeds|
I strain mine in a colander first to remove most of the larger pieces of grapes, and I then use the cheesecloth method to remove the last remaining smaller pieces.
Discard the grapes and seeds in the compost bin or feed them to your livestock, waste not want not.
Oh, one little thing I forgot. You may want to wear gloves if purple nails and fingers are not for you, ugh!
Harvesting has begun! Yesterday I made quarts of homemade sauerkraut and we had steamed cabbage for dinner using my fresh garden cabbage. Tonight we're having stuffed cabbage rolls.
Sauerkraut In Mason Jars