Making jelly for the ladies
After a previous column on home canning and preserve making, my wife and I were asked by the ladies of the Green Briar Garden Club of Warner Robins if we would do a presentation for them on that subject. After much soul-searching and discussion, we decided that if the garden club could tolerate our methods of preserving, making jam and canning vegetables, then surely we could acquaint them with our shortcuts, what equipment we used, how we prepared our fruits and vegetables, show them a few of our finished products and provide them samples of our efforts.
A couple of false starts later, amid much debate concerning how best to proceed because we could not actually make the jelly during their meeting, we decided to take photos of the various stages in jelly making, print them and mount the photos on a large cardboard trifold to place on an easel. So we set about making the jelly. First we picked a large bowl of blueberries, weighed them to be about 14 pounds and took the first photo to provide a perspective of the quantity of berries. As we progressed through the initial processes from raw berries to juice, we took photos of each step. The end result was that the 14 pounds of berries yielded four quarts of pure juice, enough for a little more than three batches of jelly by our recipe, which yields about nine half-pint jars of jelly.