Friday, March 13, 2009

When life gives you soft grapes...make raisins!

Okay, I know it looks like I'm on a homemade everything kick right now, but things are tight and when you want something that can cost a fortune, why not try making do with something you have at home in your cabinets or refrigerator. So after going to Publix yesterday and totally getting the best deals on their BOGOs and other necessities (I got $120 worth of groceries for $60), I cleaned out the refrigerator to make room for some salad mixes and found a bag of red grapes. Now normally we never have leftover grapes. Kevin loves them and usually will go through an entire bag in one sitting. Somehow this bag of grapes got put behind some leftovers and we forgot about them. Thankfully they weren't to that nasty weepy stage of rotten grapes, but they weren't that yummy crunchy stage of fresh grapes. I didn't want to throw them away, but knew no one in the family would eat them. So I thought, why not make raisins! I know, so random right? Well, I asked Kevin if he would pause his gaming for a second and find me a "how-to" on making raisins. Everything he found was for sun baking them and frankly, I don't know about you, but I am not that interested in leaving my grapes outside for the birds, bugs and who knows whatever else might show up to feast on them. Then I remembered my aunt telling me one time that you can preserve roses in your oven if you have this special mix. You bake it on a really low temperature at 200 degrees F for a couple of hours. I figured if it worked for roses, why not grapes. And it worked!!! Granted it yielded very few raisins compared to the number of grapes on the tray, but now we are snacking on raisins and they are yummy!

Here's what I did:

I removed all the grapes from the stems and rinsed them and patted them dry.

I put them on a stoneware baking sheet (I'm sure you can use your metal pans too but mine was in the dishwasher).

Spread them out evenly and bake at 200 degrees F.

I checked on them after an hour and moved them around.

After another hour, I checked them again and sprinkled them with sugar. I barely sprinkled them. I wouldn't go overboard because they do concentrate and are super flavorful. Just keep checking them until they are shriveled.

I removed them from the oven and left them on the baking pan overnight.

This morning they turned out beautiful!

Enjoy!

2 comments:

The Horns said...

That is sooo cool! How very thrifty!

Quinn said...

Thanks for sharing this link Candi! I'm so glad you did because my husband brought home 10# of concord grapes a couple days ago and while they're going through them like crazy, they're hinting at me making some jam tomorrow and I like the idea of drying them instead. It sounds much easier than jam. I'll give this a try, especially since I doubt the kids will go after them in a heated oven ;D

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