Tag Archives: failure

How NOT to Make Grape Jelly

A while ago, I bought grapes. I like grapes, and I’ve been eating them, but not as often as I eat other fruits and the trouble with grapes is that you have to buy them in huge quantities, so this evening I found myself realizing that I needed to figure out a way to use or preserve all of my grapes, pronto, or I was going to be throwing away a whole lot of them.

So of course, as I do when I want to use up anything in my kitchen, I went to allrecipes.com and searched “grapes.” Enter the recipes for grape jelly.

“Oh!” I thought. “What a great idea!” I thought. “How hard can it be?” I thought.

I clicked on the first recipe and read the list of ingredients: sugar, water, pectin, and grape juice. “Well that won’t work,” I thought to myself. “I’m trying to use up my grapes, and I don’t evenĀ have grape juice.” I clicked on another recipe. This one used actual grapes, but still called for a ton of sugar. I happen to buy no-sugar-added preserves, so I knew it was possible to make it without. I tried Googling “no sugar added grape jam recipe.”

It wasn’t until I got through two or three of those that I finally realized the elephant in the room: all of the recipes required pectin, and I had no idea what that was and definitely did not have it in my kitchen. In retrospect I imagine it’s probably similar to gelatin, which I do have, and maybe I could have substituted, but in the moment I had a completely different thought process.

“That’s ok! I made those cherry cheesecake bars yesterday and the cherry part ended up like jelly before I mixed it in – I’ll just repeat that process with the grapes. I’m such a good cook now; I don’t even need a recipe for something I have definitely never done before.”

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Fun obvious fact of the day: cherries and grapes are very different and are not good substitutes in recipes where consistency is really important. With that in mind, you can probably imagine where this went. So, without further ado, I present you with my very own recipe for…

Grape Jam (The Wrong Way) Continue reading