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I smiled when I saw this posting on MAKE contributor Steve Lodefink’s blog about making and canning Concord grape jelly. When we moved into our current house, which has several mature concord grape vines, we decided to make jelly. Like Steve, we went onto the net, and it looks like we landed on the same recipe. We too started to peel the grapes as recommended, decided to forget it after a few dozen, and just crushed the rest. We canned a bunch of small jars of jelly, made our own labels (tho nothing as cool as Steve’s) and gave our homemade jelly away as Christmas presents. I had a bunch of left-over green tomatoes at the end of the season, typed “green tomatoes” into Google, and found a green tomato relish recipe. We canned that too. The two jars, with the bright green relish and the vivid grape color, with our homemade labels, looked great. And the results were INSANE. We couldn’t get over how amazing both products tasted. Friends, family, and neighbors we gave the two jars to were calling and begging us for more. We started treating the remaining few jars like gold bullion. Every year, we make noise about canning more grape jelly and tomato relish, but we always seem too busy. Shame, really. That was a truly satisfying maker experience, from start to finish. Sounds like Steve didn’t have as good a beginner’s luck, but his labels are MUCH cooler! That little girl looks sugar-crazed!


Grape Jelly