My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. -- James 1:2-4 --
Do you ever end up with more grapes than you can eat before they start to lose their fresh appeal? It seems like that happens to me all the time!
I absolutely cannot stand to waste food if I can help it, so years ago I started making raisins out of all my “past prime” grapes rather than throwing them out. If you’ve never tried homemade raisins, YOU SHOULD! They are so yummy, and easy to make.
Just pull all the grapes (any kind of seedless grape will do) off the stems and discard any that may be too far gone (with large brown spots, or mold). Lay them out on a sheet pan, trying to keep them from touching each other if possible. (This can be tricky if they are still nice and plump because they just love to roll around on the pan!) J
(going into the oven!)
Set your oven to its lowest temperature (mine is about 150°F), and pop them in. Then just leave them there. (That’s the hardest part!) I usually do this before going to bed, and just leave them overnight, although I’ve done it during the day as well. It’s just harder then because I tend to need my oven during the day.
It works best to use grapes of about the same size, that way they cook in about the same time. If you have small and large ones on the same pan, you may have to remove the smaller ones before the big ones are done.
Depending on the size of the grapes, they can take quite a while. (I usually leave my oven light on while they’re in there so I don’t forget about them completely.) When they start to look like raisins you can taste-test them to see if they’re done. BE CAREFUL THOUGH…THEY’LL BE VERY HOT!!
It may take you a couple of times to get them the way you like them. I’ve overcooked a few, and they become char-flavored little rocks. J I’ve also learned that they tend to plump back up after a while, which is a sign that they’ve been in too long.
These raisins are larger and have SOOOO much more flavor than the ones you buy at the store! I sometimes have to chop them up to use them in recipes, but they are absolutely delicious!
This can be a great “recycling” project for your kids too! Give it a try and let me know what you think!