Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fruit Leather

The grape jelly set. Woo-hoo. It is a great favorite of everyone else in the family. It is way too sweet for me, though, and I am disturbed by how much sugar went into the making of it.

So, I came up with another option for the concord grapes. Fruit leather. My kids have been big fans of this store-bought treat from the very beginning. At upwards of 50 cents a piece, I am not as big of a fan. However, with twenty minutes of prep (and that's because my daughter was "helping") and a food dryer, we now have several servings of delicious grape fruit leather. I used an immersion blender to puree the grapes, then fed them through the food mill to remove the seeds and the bigger pieces of skin. Then spread on the food dryer and voila. No sugar. Pulp included. And probably some seeds and skin, too, which are supposed to be the most nutricious parts. And since I got a peck of grapes (that's a lot of grapes) for $10 at the East Liberty Farmer's Market, and I've already made 9 jars of jelly, I think I will at least break even this time.

And, in case you're keeping track, I also canned 7 pint jars of diced tomatoes, made 5 containers of nectarine freezer jam (not sure if these set well, though), and dried a few dozen tomatoes that now fit into a quart size ziploc bag.

Another couple of books have proved helpful in all of this food preservation. One is The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food: Easy Step-by-Step Instructions for Freezing, Drying, and Canning by Janet Chadwick
The other (thanks Angela) is Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, and Preserving, and Drying What You Grow by Rodale Food Center and Susan McClure.;pf_rd_r=1M7JJ6Y21WQFJP9JQZ15&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=278240801&pf_rd_i=507846

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