Although I was done canning grapes, the abundance still on the vines and my grandson’s need to devour them (with not so pleasant results in the pants, if you know what I mean) ... enticed me to get out the canning supplies and do up the last of the grapes.
My new Camp Chef Camp Stove had arrived last week and the weather was perfect for working outside…. so we set up the stove, gathered all the equipment and carried all the water and my day of canning began.
I had left-over barbeque pork again and rather than eating it for half a dozen meals in a row I canned them up in the pressure canner.
Result: I got 5 half-pints.
While the pressure canner was doing its thing with the pork, I started steam-juicing the grapes. Although this process worked really well, time-wise, I never got any breaks all day.. but then, perhaps, if I had had a break I wouldn’t have wanted to get back at it. (Oh my back… and I think of Sharad saying “you know that Yoga would help build up those muscles”. I’m paying the price for not listening to his wise advice.)
I ended up with about 10 quarts or more of juice. I wanted some grape jelly and whatever was left would stay as juice.
I had enough packaged pectin (Certo) to do four batches of jelly.
Result: 26 half-pints of grape jelly <<< can’t wait to taste it!
And with the leftover, I did plain juice.
Result: 18 pints grape juice.
PROS & Cons
- I have three burners to work with .. oh how wonderful that was! I had the steamer on one burner, the pork heating up on the middle one, and the pressure canner ready on the third. And during the grape juice/jelly stage, I had the middle area for filling the jars. It was so much easier than trying to work with counter space here and there. Nice. I had thought about just getting the two burners (because of the price) but I had often thought while canning that it would be nice to have three large burners at your disposal – so while taking the plunge, I went for the big version.
- I got to be outdoors. Although it ended up to be a hot day, it was so much nicer to be outdoors in the sunshine than sitting inside during one of our last summer-like days. Next year, I will have to set up the umbrella to help shade the work area.
- The heat produced by the stove was unbelievable! The pots were boiling before I knew it and I had to keep an eye on it to maintain desired heat.
- Over the past year, using my pressure canner, I had developed a rhythm that was working really well. Now it was like starting all over again, maintaining the heat and organizing the work space to create a lovely “flow”.
- Bees. Lots and lots of bees/wasps etc. All the critters that have been visiting the grape arbour were now visiting my work space. I do hope I haven’t canned any in my jelly or juice!
- Transportation: I need one of those little portable wheely device thingies. It is a long way from the kitchen to our deck and a LOT of trips, taking things out and then bringing them back.
- Water: oh how I wish I had an outdoor tap that was just off the deck. Wouldn’t that make life SO much easier!! (or a supply of filtered rain water)
- The waiting: usually I have lots of time on my hands as I wait for the pressure canner but, today, since I was able to do the grapes at the same time, I didn’t have much spare time. I think that I was able to sit on the deck for about 15 minutes total. The rest of the time was spent checking, toting, cleaning, etc. But next time.. maybe I’ll only have one thing going at a time and I’ll get to sit and relax in the sun during the wait time. That will be nice.
Overall: am I glad I got this? Absolutely … the three burners is wonderful. <<< the big “plus”.
But a cart would be nice so I’d have less trips to the kitchen <<< the big drawback
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)