Last week I got permission to pick grapes from a nearby fence. My first batch of jelly turned out a lovely wine-purple color and my apartment smelled like communion.
But it was a lot more work than blackberry jam: You pick, then crush, then simmer, then strain the pulp through a cheesecloth-lined colander, then add sugar and cook.
On Sunday I picked pretty much all the ripe grapes that were left. Yesterday I patiently pulled out the stems, made sure there was a one-to-four ratio of underripe to ripe fruit (I don’t use commercial pectin), washed them, crushed them, simmered them, and poured about half the results into a cloth-lined colander set over a bowl.
The yield was three cups of juice. I scraped out the drained pulp, poured the rest of the simmered grapes into the colander and walked away to do another chore.
Then I returned and realized I’d set the colander not over the bowl, but into the sink.
All that work, literally down the drain.
That crackling sound you hear is my Mensa card, which I set on fire once I got done swearing.
Grand total for the evening: One and a half pints of jelly.
Sometimes I wonder why they let me walk around loose.