Friday, September 23, 2011

Scraps and Snippets ~ Wildlife, P B J Oatmeal and Making Grape Jam When Life Gives You Grapes....

We had grapes we needed to do something with. If there is anything more frustrating than letting hard won or expensive, or the combo of the two items go to waste, well, I'm not sure what it would be. 

Last night I had to act or the above scenario would play out. So I plucked the grapes from their skeletons and prepared to make grape jam. 

Issue one. Not enough grapes to really justify getting the whole canning setup out and about. 

Issue two: I wanted Jam. Not Jelly. Jelly is strained and therefore you lose the chunky bits. So I had to deseed them. Is there an easy way to do this? Not sure. I should've googled it. Probably there is. But then again, I only had about three cups of whole grapes, how long could it take? A long time. Like an hour +. I had to squeeze of the outer layer of skin and then squeeze the inner jiggly part to remove the seeds. Sometimes one seed, sometimes three seeds. We took a break to do a walk in the middle of the project. It felt like hours.

Issue three: I had to look at several recipes to try to figure out what to do. In the end I just made a decision and went with it. There didn't seem to be a recipe that fit what I wanted to do. My end project plan was simply two small jars, for the fridge, to be eaten within a few weeks. So I went with the whole apple butter idea that seems to work for us. I dumped the grape bits, skins included, but not the seeds (this was about two cups total) and added half a cup of sugar into my little baby crockpot to cook down overnight. 

This morning when I woke up I did not smell heavenly grape aromas. There went my plans for peanut butter and grape jam on toast for breakfast.

Plan G: I'm leaving the lid off, hoping to cook it down further and thicken the stuff while I'm at work today. And I got creative for breakfast. I made oatmeal (a few scoops of old fashioned organic oats, 2 TBSP of chia seed) water to consistency I like, a blob of peanut butter and several spoonfuls of warm, liquidy grape jam. YUM. PB and J oatmeal. Yep. 

You might be wondering about the picture of the deer. These little guys were running away from me. I startled them while they were playing on the hill by my office. I have seen deer everywhere lately. Last night while on our walk we startled a mom and two teen deer. Last week we spied an adolescent deer hanging out in a driveway with half a dozen or so wild turkeys. Wished I had my camera for that one. Ha. Ha.