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Mesquite Jelly

2 1/2 quarts ripe mesquite beans, in pods
1 package powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Pick the beans just as they begin to turn brown. At this point they should be tan and plump. Break the beans, pods and all, into small pieces. Do not try to shell them. Cover with water. Simmer the beans. Mash the beans with a potato masher until you have a yellow liquid; strain. Continue to cook until there are 3 cups of juice.

Place the juice in a large kettle and add the pectin. Bring the juice to a full boil. Stir and boil for one minute or until the syrup sheets from a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Skim off the foam. You may add a drop of red food coloring to give the jelly more color, if desired. Pour immediately into hot, sterilized jars. Cover with melted paraffin or a tight-fitting lid.


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