Wondering what to do with all of those beautiful, ripe grapes ready for the picking in your yard here in the Pacific Northwest? A fabulous friend of mine from work had these beautiful grapes growing in her yard and she didn't have any real plans for them. Lucky for me she brought them to work to share, and I was the lucky recipient!
I honestly had never made it before so I did some researching on the internet. I knew there wasn't quite enough grapes to really can any kind of significant amount so I wasn't concerned with the canning recipes. I was really just looking for the 'how to' recipes for making the juice. They were all pretty much the same and varied on the water or time cooked so I decided to wing it.
Here you can see I separated the majority of the stems and put the grapes into a large stock pot. I added probably 2 cups of water and put my heat on medium low to start cooking down the grapes. I ended up stirring them a bit to turn over the cooked grapes from the bottom. Eventually they all turned a dark red purple and the skins starting cracking. I mashed them up some with my potato masher and let them simmer another 15 minutes or so.
Next was the straining. These grapes had seeds and we needed to strain off the seeds, skins and remaining stems. I used a regular strainer with a cheese cloth for this.