Friday, January 12, 2018
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
I started making jelly as a teenager when I discovered that jelly in the stores ranged from glorified horse pee to rotten sugared fruit.
The first thing I learned in making jelly is not to have a recipe. I was making chokecherry jelly which is the epitome of jellies, the stuff God eats while he gives sinners Smuckers. I learned that the more sour the fruit the better the jelly will be. Sweet fruit gets lost in jelly and tart fruit is the ambrosia of God.
I am going to give the apple jelly recipe as that is what I just made. Apple jelly sucks in it is more difficult than other jellies, due to the fact I have to first:
Wipe the fruit off.
Slice the fruit leaving the core. (Cores are dirty as are stems, and I save the wee baby apple seeds.)
Slice the fruit into pieces.
After all of that, the next step is to boil the apples, as in cook them. I put about 2/3rds water into the pan, and let it cook down, where I mash the fruit up with a potato masher. Leave the skins on as that is where the flavor is at.
What you will end up with is apple mush.
Then you lay a straining cloth onto a colander, over a bowl, and dump it in. This is hand burning stuff even with rubber gloves, if you are stupid as I am in not letting things cool, as I twist the cloth to press the apple juice out.
If you have TWO METAL COLANDERS you can gently press the mix, if not it is the hard way, without a cider press.
Ok, now you have some pretty reddish brown yellow stuff, if you use red apples, that you think looks like apple juice, and then you taste it and say, "This tastes like sour horse piss". Do not be alarmed as this is not juice like you drink.
Now for the recipe:
5 cups of apple juice put into a very large pot.
Add 3 1/2 cups sugar, dissolve while heating.
When the sugar is dissolved, and before this mix boils -
Stir in Sure Jell, and make sure you stir it in or you will have lumps, and if you add it while it is boiling you will have pectin globs you will have to fish out.
Boil this a minute or two.
Now being careful as this is hot and flesh eating stuff if it gets on you, you place this into your jelly jars. You of course have metal funnels to assist in this as PLASTIC MELTS.
I have all of this stuff, as while other children were throwing out their dead mum's canning stuff, I was busy buying it for a fifty cents at the thrift store.
Cover the jelly with two pot holders, screwing things down, and not being Darwin, and you have made jelly.
The original sour horse piss, with sugar will taste like weak sweet apple juice, and with the pectin will tang it up, and be sprite jelly.
I first made this jelly using Grampa's McIntosh. That mealy apple makes good jelly. It will be yellowish. I moved onto crabs which were red, and give you a russet red color, about the same flavor. This batch was Haralsons, and Nom de Deus, they got some kick to them and this is pretty good jelly.
I use this at Christmas in hot brandies. Melts up nice in hot water, and is my tradition.
The apples I used in this were wind falls. The deer were chewing on them and pooping around them. It was a real adventure in a shit minefield. If you do not save the seeds which is sad, you can just wipe the apples off, cut the stem and blossom end off, slice and it saves some time.
I had a small stock pot, you know the French kind that are about yea tall, for this venture with TL, and we filled it up. Got like 4 batches of jelly out of it which is around 5 jars a batch. So this makes enough jelly for your to forget how much you never want to do this again.
Once you make your own jelly, you will get this nose problem, as you will be at restaurants or the relatives eating jelly and think, "What the hell is this shit!!!". Of course you will not say it, but your nose will wrinkle slightly and you will wonder why sweet jelly that tastes like nothing or thick stuff that tastes like fake fruit is something any person would ever spend money on.
I like homemade jelly. Most like strawberry is easy in you have a food processor do the work and boil it up to jam. Some is harder like chokecherry and apple, but once you get it done it is something you can enjoy for usually years. I know what the labels say, but I think I got some 20 plus year old jelly that is as good as when I made it. It seals and just sort of gets more jelly like and I am too stingy to throw things out, or waste it on the neighbors in being kind to them.
Oh and Made Jelly, is in honor of our Beaver Trapping Heritage, in pelts in a bale were called Made Beaver from our great Quebec to our American Rockies.
One more thing, you will know if you made jelly as in the bottom of your pan, it will start solidifying in what is left once the jelly is out. If not, you will have to run her through again. Don't worry about apple too much though as that stuff takes a coon's age to really act like jelly. I think some of that stuff never behaved until the second or third year in that I would call it jelly like you think of jelly.
Enough of this, as what do you think this is, a celebration of Canadian Montecalm and French babies running barefoot in snow in tunics, becoming a stalwart American breed, unlike those pussy Eurasians grubbing for dictators on all fours.