Tag Archives: grapes

BBQ, Catfish, and Grapes

If I named all my post titles after all the literal things I did, it would make for really random posts. This one is a great example of that. I am trying to get back into the habit of my little Monday life/weekend updates. I apologize if some of the Instagram pictures are a bit redundant for some folks!

Saturday I volunteered for our Humane Society at the Smoke Under the Oaks BBQ Festival. It was hot, but the BBQ was delicious and we hopefully raised some dollars for an excellent couple of causes.

Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society Fundraiser | Oysters & Pearls
This year they had a “People’s Choice Award,” where you could buy a plate that held a little scoop of every competitor’s pulled pork. It was pretty awesome.

Smoke Under The Oaks BBQ Festival People's Choice Award Plate | Oysters & Pearls

After my shift was up, we loaded up the dogs and headed to Bristol. After a gnarly storm passed over, we hit the river for a little fishing.

Baby Catfish on the Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Small Catfish on the Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Apalachicola River, Just South of Bristol, Florida | Oysters & Pearls
Just caught a few of these little guys! Enough for a catfish dinner though.
Sunday was very low key. Wheat and my dad went fishing again, and I picked the first shirt-full of grapes of the season!

Shirt Full of Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls
It wasn’t the most exciting (or productive, which about killed me) weekend, but it was a good one!

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Scuppernong Sangria

It’s Booze-day Tuesday!

A couple of weeks ago at our Farm to Table supper, I served a white scuppernong sangria, and I promised I would share the recipe with you.  So here we go!

This recipe is from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen – one of my very favorite cookbooks.  See also: remember that time I got to meet Matt Lee and Ted Lee in Charleston?

Natalie Meets The Lee Brothers in their Charleston Cooks! Class | Oysters & Pearls

The Brothers call it “Muscadine Sangria,” but I grew up calling all muscadines scuppernongs instead (really, a scuppernong is just a type of muscadine), but mostly I just appreciate the alliteration.

Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

I froze about 6 gallons of scuppernongs/muscadines last summer that I picked at my parents’ house.  I’ve made some into jam, but I think this might be my new favorite use for them.

Making the Lee Brothers Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

Scuppernong Sangria Recipe
via The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

ingredients

– 1 quart (1 1/4 pounds) ripe green or bronze muscadine/scuppernong grapes
– 1/2 cup purple muscadine/scuppernong grapes
– 2 pinches Kosher salt
– 1 lime, sliced into thin disks
– 1 quart ice cubes, plus more for serving
– 1 (750-ml) bottle dry, fruity white wine, such as pinto grigio, pinot gris, or sauvignon blanc
– 1 cup seltzer water

instructions

Pour 3 cups of the green or bronze grapes into a food processor, and process them just to a slurry, with four to five 3-second pulses.  Strain the grapes through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the pulp with the back of a spoon or spatula to extract the juice.  Discard the remaining solids.

Slice the remaining grapes in half with a sharp knife.  Don’t worry about the seeds.
Sprinkle the salt into the bottom of a large pitcher.  Scatter one-third of the halved grapes and lime slices on top of the salt, then add one-third of the ice.  Continue to fill the pitcher, repeating the layers of fruit and ice, until it’s full.  Pour the reserved juice, white wine, and seltzer into the pitcher and stir.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.

Pour into glasses over ice, garnishing with halves grapes and lime slices from the pitcher.

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We served ours in mason jars, but something with a wide mouth so you can pick out the fruit to eat would also be ideal. ;)

Speaking of fruit: I followed The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen recipe to a T.  However, if you only have one color available, or more of one than another, feel free to use any color muscadines you want in any proportion you want.

Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

This is the perfect light, bubbly sangria to serve in our sweltering Southern summers.  I know I’ll be making it again soon!

Until Next Time

Muscadine Jam + O&P’s One Year Anniversary!

Good morning!  And Happy Anniversary to Oysters & Pearls!!

I seriously cannot believe it’s been one year since I started this little ole blog.  It’s been such a fun experience, and I’m so happy I did it.  I love the conversation starter it has become around town, and I love the new people and bloggers I’ve met because of it, whether virtually or in person.  I can’t wait to see what this next year holds!

To celebrate, I was going to make an elaborate cake, or pie, or something that seemed befitting of such a special occasion.  However, that idea completely went out the window when I decided to make jam instead.  Which I suppose is fitting after all.  Simple and as Southern as it gets: Muscadine Jam.

Simple Muscadine Jam | Oysters & Pearls

No, this is absolutely not seasonal.  Muscadine grapes ripen near the end of August, and that’s when I picked these at my parents’ house.  Remember me mentioning that?  Let’s take a trip down memory lane, to a sunnier, warmer, and much tanner time.

Scuppernongs On The Vine | Oysters & Pearls

Muscadines on the Vine | Oysters & Pearls

Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Picking Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Gold Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Gold Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Both the purple and gold grapes are technically “muscadines.”  I grew up calling them all “scuppernongs.”  I’ve since learned that they are both muscadines, but the gold variety are scuppernongs.  Sort of like, a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square.  Ya mean?

Anyway, the absolute best way to eat these grapes is directly off the vine.  Pop the hull and spit out the seeds.

Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Purple and Gold Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Don’t you just feel warmer now?  I think I’m just about over this winter weather and ready for summer again.  Writing this post and editing these pictures from August really sealed the deal, and a reminder of summer through the pictures and the smell of these grapes cooking is exactly what I needed this week.  Is anybody else over winter?

Anyway, last August my Mom and I picked almost 8 gallons of grapes behind my parents’ house.

Purple and Gold Southern Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

We washed them, separated them by color, and bagged them up.  I had big plans for jelly.  Or something.

Southern Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

But then life got busy and in the way, and in a panic, I stuffed all the bags in our deep freezer.  Whole.  Turns out, that’s okay!  And last weekend, I got around to doing something with some of them.

Scuppernong Grapes (Muscadines) and Sugar | Oysters & Pearls

Using a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Elena over at Biscuits & Such, I decided I would make a simple muscadine jam with a couple bags of grapes.  It didn’t work out perfectly, and my first two batches of the jam never really set.  However, I’ve since repeated the process a couple more times, figured out how to fix it, but also decided that this happy accident is perfectly all right with me.  Scuppernong Sauce is also the jam.

Scuppernong Grapes for Jam | Oysters & Pearls

Muscadine Jam Recipe
adapted from Biscuits & Such
makes 4 jelly-jars (half pint)

ingredients

– 2 pounds (1 gallon freezer bag full) muscadine grapes (any variety)
– 2 cups raw cane sugar
– juice of two meyer lemons (1 cup)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 packet Sure Jell Pectin

instructions

In a large sauce pan, combine grapes, sugar, lemon juice, and salt.  Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until thick.  Stir in pectin and simmer an additional 10 minutes.  Note: this will take longer if you are using frozen grapes.  I put them in the pot frozen, and started the timer once they began to simmer.  Stir often to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot, and smash the grapes against the side of the pot.
In a waterbath or your dishwasher, sanitize jars and lids.
Push the jam mixture through a mesh strainer to create a smooth jam, or leave the grapes intact for a chunky preserve.  I did the former.
Use a spoon or ladle to fill the jars, leaving a 1/4″ headspace.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a cloth and screw the bands down over the lids tightly.  Process jars for 10 minutes in boiling water, then remove to a dishcloth on your counter.  Let sit for 24 hours or overnight.  If any jars do not seal within 2 hours, immediately put them in the refrigerator.

Disclaimer: as with any canning or preserving, there’s always a slight risk of botulism.  If something doesn’t seal, stick it in the fridge.  If you have any concerns whatsoever, toss it.

Meyer Lemons and Sugar for Scuppernong Jam | Oysters & Pearls

I mentioned my happy Scuppernong Sauce accident because it’s awesome.  The problem lies in the straining process.  If you don’t push enough of the jam through a mesh strainer, your “jam” won’t set.  And pushing it through a mesh strainer is no joke.  You will have to do a lot of pushing.  I used the back of a wooden spoon as well as the bottom of a soup ladle.  Try to get as much pulp through as possible if you want a true jam that sets (jells).  However, if you want a delicious summery scuppernong/muscadine syrup/sauce that is delicious on ice cream, in yogurt, or on biscuits, by all means, don’t kill yourself with all that straining.  Because this stuff is the jam, whether or not it actually sets.

Muscadine or Scuppernong Jam | Oysters & Pearls

I am absolutely giddy with the idea of swirling some of this syrupy sauce into a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream this summer.  I can’t think of a more Southern summer dessert.

And have I mentioned it’s divine on a biscuit?

Simple Southern Breakfast- Biscuit with Scuppernong Jam | Oysters & Pearls

That goes for any time of year.  Including the frosty doldrums of this South Georgia winter.

Biscuit with Muscadine Jam | Oysters & Pearls

And although I would love to gift each and every one of my wonderful readers a jar of this Heavenly jam/syrup/sauce, I have another gift for you.  I like to make little labels on jars of jam I gift to those I love, and since I can’t give you the jar, I’ll give you the label.  Just print, write the type of jam you’re giving, and sign it.  It should fit perfectly on the lid of a jelly jar.

You're The Jam Printable | Oysters & Pearls

Because you, my dear readers, are indeed, the jam.  Thanks for making this one of my best years yet.

xoxo

Until Next Time