31 October 2010
It's Okay Not to be Perfect Grape Syrup
This morning, I did something I'd never done before: I left my apartment in my college sweatshirt (complete with holes I cut in the bottom of the sleeves for my thumbs to make half-mittens - winters are COLD where I went to school) and walked out onto the streets of Paris in it. Okay, so I went to the ATM machine and put my sister in a taxi for the airport, but still. This in a country where people put on their makeup to go to the boulangerie (the distance equivalent of going to the end of the driveway to get the paper in America). I thought "what was I so worried about before? That people would think I was American? I AM American." See, I've been so worried about fitting in for the past few years that I sometimes forget that it's okay to be me. Not perfect, not French, not a morning a person, and all that jazz.
So, in my new-found free to be me-ness, I'm going to admit that this grape syrup wasn't supposed to be grape syrup at all. It was supposed to be grape jelly. After getting grapes in my CSA, I was inspired by Camille's idea on Seasonal Market Menus 10/13. I looked up some jelly recipes and, frankly, it didn't look that hard. I've never made grape jelly before, but there's a first time for everything. (Maybe there still will be a first time for grape jelly, who knows.)
Here's what I did. I washed almost 3 lbs of grapes and boiled them in a pot until they were soft (about 15 minutes). I didn't have a jelly bag, or cheesecloth, so I let the grape pulp strain through a coffee filter for a few hours until the liquid had collected. I measure out the juice (I had 2 1/2 cups), put it in a pot and brought it to a boil. I slowly stirred in 2 1/2 cups white sugar and stirred constantly without letting it boil until the syrup had thickened (again about 15 minutes, maybe a bit less). Then I poured it into clean jars and set aside to cool.
If you try this recipe and get grape jelly from it, tell me how you did it! Also if you've successfully made grape jelly, I want to hear about it.
For now, I'm perfectly happy being me with my fresh grape syrup, which I've been eating on pancakes, over ice cream, in fruit salad... any way I can!