Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why I Bought 50 Lbs of Table Grapes

Last week as we were grocery shopping, G noted that the store's Friday special was "Organic Green and Purple Grapes for 99 cents a pound."  Grapes are one of those fruits that we only eat organic and we only eat seasonally (because organic grapes around here are only available in the summer).  I ate pounds upon pounds of them for the first several months of my pregnancy with Nora, and now she would like to attempt to do the same.

No joke, the kid can be found swiping them any time we open the fridge or if I've left a grocery sack on the floor with them, she grabs a bunch and runs.
Also tried banana chips....will be doing more!

So, I bought 40 lbs of grapes to start.  I thought, great, I can freeze these.  If you've never had them, frozen grapes are delicious.  So, I text friends about the sale, and one friend says, "Hey, why not make raisins?  I have a dehydrator you could borrow."  Awesome.  So I go back that evening and buy 10 lbs more. 
 White grapes equal sultanas of sort.

Neither G nor I have ever been a big raisin fan, though I love pain aux raisin.  But I thought, we'll give it a whirl.  Had I know that homemade raisins tasted 10 times better than commercial ones, I would have bought more grapes.  So far I have about a quart of raisins, with another 2-3 quarts expected.  They're more tart, somewhat like dried cranberries, juicier, and just fantastic.
Red grape raisins....yum!

However, fair warning, I have found the process time consuming and tedious.  You have to make sure you have good grapes, rinse them, blanch them, cold citric acid water bath them, then dry and lay out neatly on these trays.  Still, the outcome seems worth it. 

I also chose to go ahead and try grape jam.  Made a small batch (about 3 cups worth), and it's not bad.  Goes well on biscuits. 

So, 50 lbs of grapes has turned into a little bit of jam, about 5 gallons of frozen grapes, and eventually 3-4 quarts of raisins.  Not bad! 

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, that is a great price. No wonder you bought 50 pounds!
    I would love to try some of your homemade raisins..they look really tasty and I love tart dried fruit.
    Frozen grapes are one of my favorite cold treats. I used to eat them until I was sick to my stomach as a kid!