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Preserving (rec.food.preserving) Devoted to the discussion of recipes, equipment, and techniques of food preservation. Techniques that should be discussed in this forum include canning, freezing, dehydration, pickling, smoking, salting, and distilling.

What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2004, 05:55 PM
Casey Wilson
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes



A few weeks ago, an 18-wheeler had an accident on Highway-58 down near
Boron, about 50 miles from here. The trailer, loaded with 40,000 pounds of
Red Flame seedless grapes landed on its side. A local, to me, towing and
wrecking service got the job of putting the trailer upright and hauling to
Ridgecrest. The way the load was packed, only a few tons of the grapes
suffered any damage. The tow company operator estimated that about 33,000
pounds were salvageable.
The insurance company told him to just hang on to them for about a week
while they figured out what should be done. The operator pointed out that
the temperature up here was 105 on that particular day, the insurance
weenies said get rid of the fruit as best he could. Somehow, the fact that
the refrigeration system was working fine didn't come into the picture.
Well, the agriculture people said the grapes were okay for human
consumption but the commerce folks said they couldn't sell them. That turned
it into the Great Grape Giveaway. I ended up with 78 pounds. We gave maybe
25 pounds to friends and relatives and this is what we did to the remainder.
We de-stemmed and froze about 15 pounds, loose, one layer, on trays,
then bagged them in quarts. Eating them frozen is like popping a grape
flavored ice ball in your mouth. Surprisingly, I discovered that when they
thaw out, the texture is softer than before they went into the freezer, but
certainly not as mushy as I expected. As with Thompson seedless variety.
Next came making jelly. In the past, we've had great success with both
peaches and strawberries, making jam without using pectin. The results there
are a more flavorful product with deeper color. The trade off is reduced
volume because you have to cook the liquid down to make it thicker and
activate the natural pectin.
The first batch, I cooked according to directions provided by the USDA
and cooked to 214F, just like I do peaches. The result was a sticky, gooey
ooze that clings to the roof of the mouth. It tastes great, but has the
consistency of honey and sort of flows off the toast.
Areading the USDA info a second time, we boiled the juice with the
skins to recover the natural pectin. And, I decided to raise the temperature
to 218. Better flavor still, and it was -slightly- thicker than honey, but
it still clung to the roof of the mouth and oozed off the toast.
In frustration, I cooked another batch to 235. Har, har! It didn't
ooze. But I couldn't stick a spoon in it, either. In fact, a sharp knife
blade met a whole lot of resistance. I ended up dipping the jars in boiling
water to loosen the sides and prying the goo out to discard it
While we reconsidered what we were doing, we figured it was time to do
a batch adding commercial pectin. I did that in the face of information off
the internet that jelly could only be made from Concord grapes. At least
that's what the proponents of the rec.food.preserving newsgroup wanted me to
believe. Who cares that the pectin package directions also called for
Concord variety! The yeild was about 1/3 more jars and the flavor as
expected wasn't as bright.
Surprise! The result was a batch of stuff that wiggles like jelly,
tastes good [if a little milder], and doesn't drip off the toast when you're
trying to eat it. I guess if it walks like a duck, you can call it jelly.
Okay, that left us with two batches of juice left, not counting the couple
of quarts we'd quaffed along the way. I thought about wine, but its the
wrong time of the year here in the desert to try and control the
temperature.
Time for one more pectin-less batch. Seriously now, I read up on
temperature lapse rates, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and how all that
affects the boiling point of water. Thirty minutes on the calculator and I
determined the ideal temperature for our altitude, barometric pressure,
yadda, yadda... in the middle of summer when calculated against the USDA
recommended cooking temperature, meant the ideal temperature should be 220.
I missed it by one degree and the batch went to 221 before I got the pot off
the burner.
The result -- you can eat it before it drips off the toast, it tastes
good, and doesn't stick to your palate. But it won't support a spoon.
An executive decision sent the last batch of juice into the pot with a
package of commercial pectin. The jelly is clear enough to read the Kerr
insignia backwards on the opposite side. The color is a nice red. I've got
two jars set aside to enter in the fall fair competition. I'll let you know
how that ends up.


Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2004, 06:10 PM
George Shirley
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes

Casey Wilson wrote:
A few weeks ago, an 18-wheeler had an accident on Highway-58 down near
Boron, about 50 miles from here. The trailer, loaded with 40,000 pounds of
Red Flame seedless grapes landed on its side. A local, to me, towing and
wrecking service got the job of putting the trailer upright and hauling to
Ridgecrest. The way the load was packed, only a few tons of the grapes
suffered any damage. The tow company operator estimated that about 33,000
pounds were salvageable.
The insurance company told him to just hang on to them for about a week
while they figured out what should be done. The operator pointed out that
the temperature up here was 105 on that particular day, the insurance
weenies said get rid of the fruit as best he could. Somehow, the fact that
the refrigeration system was working fine didn't come into the picture.
Well, the agriculture people said the grapes were okay for human
consumption but the commerce folks said they couldn't sell them. That turned
it into the Great Grape Giveaway. I ended up with 78 pounds. We gave maybe
25 pounds to friends and relatives and this is what we did to the remainder.
We de-stemmed and froze about 15 pounds, loose, one layer, on trays,
then bagged them in quarts. Eating them frozen is like popping a grape
flavored ice ball in your mouth. Surprisingly, I discovered that when they
thaw out, the texture is softer than before they went into the freezer, but
certainly not as mushy as I expected. As with Thompson seedless variety.
Next came making jelly. In the past, we've had great success with both
peaches and strawberries, making jam without using pectin. The results there
are a more flavorful product with deeper color. The trade off is reduced
volume because you have to cook the liquid down to make it thicker and
activate the natural pectin.
The first batch, I cooked according to directions provided by the USDA
and cooked to 214F, just like I do peaches. The result was a sticky, gooey
ooze that clings to the roof of the mouth. It tastes great, but has the
consistency of honey and sort of flows off the toast.
Areading the USDA info a second time, we boiled the juice with the
skins to recover the natural pectin. And, I decided to raise the temperature
to 218. Better flavor still, and it was -slightly- thicker than honey, but
it still clung to the roof of the mouth and oozed off the toast.
In frustration, I cooked another batch to 235. Har, har! It didn't
ooze. But I couldn't stick a spoon in it, either. In fact, a sharp knife
blade met a whole lot of resistance. I ended up dipping the jars in boiling
water to loosen the sides and prying the goo out to discard it
While we reconsidered what we were doing, we figured it was time to do
a batch adding commercial pectin. I did that in the face of information off
the internet that jelly could only be made from Concord grapes. At least
that's what the proponents of the rec.food.preserving newsgroup wanted me to
believe. Who cares that the pectin package directions also called for
Concord variety! The yeild was about 1/3 more jars and the flavor as
expected wasn't as bright.
Surprise! The result was a batch of stuff that wiggles like jelly,
tastes good [if a little milder], and doesn't drip off the toast when you're
trying to eat it. I guess if it walks like a duck, you can call it jelly.
Okay, that left us with two batches of juice left, not counting the couple
of quarts we'd quaffed along the way. I thought about wine, but its the
wrong time of the year here in the desert to try and control the
temperature.
Time for one more pectin-less batch. Seriously now, I read up on
temperature lapse rates, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and how all that
affects the boiling point of water. Thirty minutes on the calculator and I
determined the ideal temperature for our altitude, barometric pressure,
yadda, yadda... in the middle of summer when calculated against the USDA
recommended cooking temperature, meant the ideal temperature should be 220.
I missed it by one degree and the batch went to 221 before I got the pot off
the burner.
The result -- you can eat it before it drips off the toast, it tastes
good, and doesn't stick to your palate. But it won't support a spoon.
An executive decision sent the last batch of juice into the pot with a
package of commercial pectin. The jelly is clear enough to read the Kerr
insignia backwards on the opposite side. The color is a nice red. I've got
two jars set aside to enter in the fall fair competition. I'll let you know
how that ends up.


Small point here - all my preserving books plus other data says the
natural jelling point on this sort of stuff is 222F. When I cook
jellies, jams, marmalades w/o pectin I always go to 222F and, nearly
always - remember Murphy?, get jelly, jam, or marmalade that is the
right consistency. A good candy thermometer is your best friend. VBG

I'm sure glad we didn't have that truck roll over around here. My
thrifty soul would have insisted on salvaging it all. Reminds me of the
time I came home from a hunting trip with a pickup bed completely full
of wild grapes. My wife wouldn't speak to me for a month.

George

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2004, 06:10 PM
George Shirley
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes

Casey Wilson wrote:
A few weeks ago, an 18-wheeler had an accident on Highway-58 down near
Boron, about 50 miles from here. The trailer, loaded with 40,000 pounds of
Red Flame seedless grapes landed on its side. A local, to me, towing and
wrecking service got the job of putting the trailer upright and hauling to
Ridgecrest. The way the load was packed, only a few tons of the grapes
suffered any damage. The tow company operator estimated that about 33,000
pounds were salvageable.
The insurance company told him to just hang on to them for about a week
while they figured out what should be done. The operator pointed out that
the temperature up here was 105 on that particular day, the insurance
weenies said get rid of the fruit as best he could. Somehow, the fact that
the refrigeration system was working fine didn't come into the picture.
Well, the agriculture people said the grapes were okay for human
consumption but the commerce folks said they couldn't sell them. That turned
it into the Great Grape Giveaway. I ended up with 78 pounds. We gave maybe
25 pounds to friends and relatives and this is what we did to the remainder.
We de-stemmed and froze about 15 pounds, loose, one layer, on trays,
then bagged them in quarts. Eating them frozen is like popping a grape
flavored ice ball in your mouth. Surprisingly, I discovered that when they
thaw out, the texture is softer than before they went into the freezer, but
certainly not as mushy as I expected. As with Thompson seedless variety.
Next came making jelly. In the past, we've had great success with both
peaches and strawberries, making jam without using pectin. The results there
are a more flavorful product with deeper color. The trade off is reduced
volume because you have to cook the liquid down to make it thicker and
activate the natural pectin.
The first batch, I cooked according to directions provided by the USDA
and cooked to 214F, just like I do peaches. The result was a sticky, gooey
ooze that clings to the roof of the mouth. It tastes great, but has the
consistency of honey and sort of flows off the toast.
Areading the USDA info a second time, we boiled the juice with the
skins to recover the natural pectin. And, I decided to raise the temperature
to 218. Better flavor still, and it was -slightly- thicker than honey, but
it still clung to the roof of the mouth and oozed off the toast.
In frustration, I cooked another batch to 235. Har, har! It didn't
ooze. But I couldn't stick a spoon in it, either. In fact, a sharp knife
blade met a whole lot of resistance. I ended up dipping the jars in boiling
water to loosen the sides and prying the goo out to discard it
While we reconsidered what we were doing, we figured it was time to do
a batch adding commercial pectin. I did that in the face of information off
the internet that jelly could only be made from Concord grapes. At least
that's what the proponents of the rec.food.preserving newsgroup wanted me to
believe. Who cares that the pectin package directions also called for
Concord variety! The yeild was about 1/3 more jars and the flavor as
expected wasn't as bright.
Surprise! The result was a batch of stuff that wiggles like jelly,
tastes good [if a little milder], and doesn't drip off the toast when you're
trying to eat it. I guess if it walks like a duck, you can call it jelly.
Okay, that left us with two batches of juice left, not counting the couple
of quarts we'd quaffed along the way. I thought about wine, but its the
wrong time of the year here in the desert to try and control the
temperature.
Time for one more pectin-less batch. Seriously now, I read up on
temperature lapse rates, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and how all that
affects the boiling point of water. Thirty minutes on the calculator and I
determined the ideal temperature for our altitude, barometric pressure,
yadda, yadda... in the middle of summer when calculated against the USDA
recommended cooking temperature, meant the ideal temperature should be 220.
I missed it by one degree and the batch went to 221 before I got the pot off
the burner.
The result -- you can eat it before it drips off the toast, it tastes
good, and doesn't stick to your palate. But it won't support a spoon.
An executive decision sent the last batch of juice into the pot with a
package of commercial pectin. The jelly is clear enough to read the Kerr
insignia backwards on the opposite side. The color is a nice red. I've got
two jars set aside to enter in the fall fair competition. I'll let you know
how that ends up.


Small point here - all my preserving books plus other data says the
natural jelling point on this sort of stuff is 222F. When I cook
jellies, jams, marmalades w/o pectin I always go to 222F and, nearly
always - remember Murphy?, get jelly, jam, or marmalade that is the
right consistency. A good candy thermometer is your best friend. VBG

I'm sure glad we didn't have that truck roll over around here. My
thrifty soul would have insisted on salvaging it all. Reminds me of the
time I came home from a hunting trip with a pickup bed completely full
of wild grapes. My wife wouldn't speak to me for a month.

George

  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2004, 07:04 PM
Brian Mailman
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes

Casey Wilson wrote:

The first batch, I cooked according to directions provided by the =

USDA
and cooked to 214=EF=BF=BDF, just like I do peaches. The result was a s=

ticky, gooey
ooze that clings to the roof of the mouth. It tastes great, but has the=


consistency of honey and sort of flows off the toast.


You may have made "pekmez" or the Turkish grape "molasses." Lots of=20
recipes with that about, just do a search.

What I do with grapes is set 'em into a jar of white wine vinegar and a=20
couple sprigs of tarragon for a week. Nice pickle to have for chopped=20
liver or pates.

B/

  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2004, 07:04 PM
Brian Mailman
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What I did with 78 pounds of Red Flame seedless grapes

Casey Wilson wrote:

The first batch, I cooked according to directions provided by the =

USDA
and cooked to 214=EF=BF=BDF, just like I do peaches. The result was a s=

ticky, gooey
ooze that clings to the roof of the mouth. It tastes great, but has the=


consistency of honey and sort of flows off the toast.


You may have made "pekmez" or the Turkish grape "molasses." Lots of=20
recipes with that about, just do a search.

What I do with grapes is set 'em into a jar of white wine vinegar and a=20
couple sprigs of tarragon for a week. Nice pickle to have for chopped=20
liver or pates.

B/

 




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