Muscadine Jelly

We have told yall a number of times that we live in a small town in the country full of nice country people. Here's proof: I was sitting drinking coffee the other morning when a good friend of mine, Todd called and asked me if I wanted to ride over and help him butcher a goat and sample some of his homemade brews. Well, I sharpened my fillet knife, jumped in "Tinkerbail" and fired her up. Having not been started for a month, she was cold-natured and required some warm-up time, cursing and choking. By the time I got to Todd's house he was already finished up with his butcherin' and cleaning up. We visited over washing up and I sampled a couple of his homemade beers from the infamous "kegerator" where he has like, 8 pony kegs in an ole chest-type cooler for tasting purposes. The whole thing looks like a science experiment gone wrong with tubes going everywhere, but they all wired up to compressed air and when ya fish out a "spicket", beer comes out. Anyways I digress. After sampling his wares and visiting with his family, I left with a bucket full of muscadines picked that morning here's how we made them into jelly.

For those of you unfamiliar with muscadines, they are a wild grape that grows all along the Gulf Coast and are wonderful for jelly, wine , pie, anything ya do with grapes. Here is what wikapedia says:

The first thing ya gotta do is extract the juice from the grapes. This is accomplished by barely covering the grapes with water in a large pot, bringing it to a slow boil, and boiling the grapes for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, 'til the skins are soft and all the grapes 'pop'. This process smells amazing! Once the flesh and skins are soft, we let them cool over night, then strain them through cheese cloth, squeezing out all the delicious juice. once we had the juice prepared, we followed this simple recipe:

Muscadine Grape Jelly

4 cups grape juice

4 cups suger

1 box sure jell

Place the juice and the sugar into a pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Add the Sure Jell, boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 215 degrees (use a candy thermometer). Skim off the foam with a metal spoon if necessary,(it was).

We always have our jelly jars in a 220 degree oven hot, and on standby, and our jar lids on the stove in a warm water bath(200F)

Once everything is ready it's just poor seal and wait for that glorious sound (the "tinks").

This makes a wonderful soft jelly, easily spread over a biscuit or toast. It is also wonderful with peanut butter. Peggy uses it to make a sweet and sour sauce that is out of this world. As a suggestion, make small batches at first and see how ya like it. It's tart and ya may want it sweeter. If ya like ya jelly firmer try the pink box Sure Jell. Either way it is truly wonderful. Here is a lil slideshow of the process. Happy jelly making:

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