Sunday, July 11, 2010

Raspberries! -or- A Demo of all the Juicers I Own.

Strawberry season is gone. The next fruit around here is raspberries.  Onward we have moved!  I have to go elsewhere for our raspberry-lovin' needs, we don't grow raspberries (yet).  There is a local farm around here called Gerry's, and the people there are so helpful.  They have given me countless tips on gardening and preserving.  They never seem too busy to stop and say hello and catch up a little bit.    AND they are the kind of farm that has canning and sauce produce available when you ask.  This is great because you can often yourself with a lot of berries for less money and with a little bit more work of picking though them, a lot of jam!  I ended up getting 10 jars of beautiful raspberry jelly. 
I decided to go with jelly this year and not just mush of the berries because the seeds drive me a bit bonkers. We use a lot of our jelly to flavor oatmeal in the winter and the seeds are really noticeable.  I like jam with big chunks of fruit, I love how extra homemade it seems, but the seeds!  I also happen to have an amazing, wonderful, incredible Squeezo!
 This monster of homesteading bliss was given to me by my grandmother who found it at a yard sale.  I didn't even know what it was! There are so many projects I wouldn't even consider doing without it (we'll talk about that during tomato and apple season).  They come with (or you can purchase) different screens depending on your job.  So I clamped it to the counter and we got to work!
You simply place your raspberries in the hopper and crank out juice! It's that simple! 
 Berries in top (don't you love this heath-code nightmare?  don't' worry, the jelly is hair-free)
Juice comes out this way,
Seeds go out that way! Notice how clean the seeds are of juice.
Well, it's usually that simple.  I found that after a while the scroll, which is like a drill that is inside the screen,was getting full of seeds and it was then mushing the seeds up and pushing them out into the juice.  Ew. So I took it apart, cleaned it out and put it back together. It worked for a while, but the same things started to happen again.  I began to suspect that we had the wrong sized screen.  This is what it say here: The parts for today's Squeezo will fit most older Squeezo models; however, if your Squeezo is over 20 years old, we recommend you call us to check proper sizing. 
So, I thought I'd  take out the juicer I used last year.  I'm not even sure what it's called.  
You put your berries in the cone and use a cone-shaped pestle to push the juice out the sides.  It doesn't get the seeds quite as clean as the Squeezo does, but it works well enough.  
Well, maybe not so well enough.  I knew how much juice I was loosing after using the Squeezo.  I happen to have another knock-off Squeezo that I got last year from the same grandmother who found me the real deal.  I thought I'd get that out and see if it would get the last bit of juice off the seeds. 
 As you can see, many of the parts are plastic, and the screen is covered, so you can't watch he magic happen! But we gave it a shot.  
FAIL! As you can also see, the fake Squeezo (let's call it a "Feezo") didn't get the seeds nearly as clean as the Squeezo.  I ended up getting about another 1/2 cup of juice from the Feezo. 
Look at all that potential jelly!  It all went to the chickens.
 Later that night, when it wasn't 4 million degrees and only a balmy 2 million I boiled up the juice and made jelly.  I also brought a gigantic canning pot to a boil and processed the jars this time
All in all, a successful day. 

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