Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Prickly Adventure


For years, I have looked at the lovely prickly pear fruits that come out on the cactus this time of year and thought, “Someday I need to learn to make jelly out of those…” So a few weeks ago, I decided that I’d just jump in and learn by experience!

I made myself an "expert" by reading about it on the internet. (Why it didn't occur to me to ask people that I knew make it, I'm not sure...) So after I picked up Dallin from school that Friday, we went out and picked a peck of prickly pears. We used heavy gloves and tongs of course – no prickles for us, thanks!




Then we took them home and burned all the prickles off with the gas stove. This took well over an hour, since we went a little crazy with the picking. Later, a friend of mine said that when they would make it, they’d use a weed burner before they picked them to burn off the pokies. Yeah, that would have made it easier…


Next, I put them all into my biggest pots and boiled them for about 15 minutes. Then you mash them like masked potatoes and strain the seeds and pulp and any possible stray prickles through cheesecloth. (Didn’t get any pics of the straining. Sorry…) After which I was left with about 18 cups of lovely prickly pear juice!


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At this point, I had to take a break for about two weeks due to a round of Flu (we think it was probably the dreaded swine flu…) my son so lovingly brought home from school and shared with us…

But then it was time to make the jelly –SANY0783 and that was about the same as you would do to make any other jelly. Boil the juice with sugar and pectin, bottle it, and seal in a water bath. Voila! Lovely homemade prickly pear jelly! I hope this lovely story has inspired you to look in your own yards or areas and try some little crazy ideas yourselves!


1 comment:

meghannamarie said...

You are awesome...Justin was wondering how it turned out and wants to try it sometime!! BTW I love the Jungle Book reference!