Canning homemade Grape Jelly with the kids

Canning isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Nowadays our next generation is on the path to learn about preserving. From 5 to 95 everyone either knows or is learning what real preserves, jam and homemade jelly is supposed to taste like.

My 4H canning group had their monthly meeting on Sunday and we made several jams along with grape jelly. The freezer jam is a great way to get them started. Our grape jelly was our other project. I started early in the morning by juicing grapes I froze last summer for the kids. I used my Meihu Liisa steamer my husband purchased for me about 10 years ago. It cuts my time down in the kitchen when making juice or steaming pumpkin for pies.

When the kids arrived we got down to business. Sierra and Rebecca started my smashing strawberries and adding instant pectin along with sugar and stirred it for three minutes. We placed them in freezer jars. As the rest of the girls arrived, we continued the process.

The grape juice was ready to and I had already made one batch for them to take home. I have 10 girls in my group and one boy ranging in age from 5 to 17.

 Following the directions on the package of liquid pectin:

4 cups of prepared juice – grapes

6 ¾ cups of sugar

1 package of liquid pectin.

I put the juice and sugar in a stainless steel pot, stirring until mixture came to a full rolling boil that could not be stirred down with a spoon. I added the liquid pectin and brought it back up to a rolling boil. My jars were already in the canner, heating, and I brought one jar out at a time for the girls to fill. They each filled a jar and placed the lid and band on the jar and I hand tightened the jar for them. The jars went back into the water bath canner for 15 minutes. The recipe called for 10 minutes, but I made my adjustment because of our altitude and increased it by 5 minutes.

After 15 minutes, I turned the heat off and let the jars sit for another 5 minutes. I removed the jars and placed them on a towel. Most of them gave off that great bing noise we canners like to hear. This lets us know that our jars have sealed. The jars set until this morning when I removed the bands and washed the jars. Placed the bands back on and put the jars in my pantry.

We had fun yesterday. The girls enjoyed making the freezer jam and eating some of the leftover grape jelly that wouldn’t fit in a jar with lots of toast and butter.

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