Friday, July 4, 2014

Currant Affairs

That title is not misspelled, but it may be the worst title in the history of blogging. You'll see why in a second.

A few days ago, our very elderly neighbor called to tell me her red currants* (you see about the title? I apologize) were ripe and she would be delighted if I would come pick them all and use them. I assured her the delight was all ours. A. proclaims currant jelly to be the most exquisite of all jellies (his words, believe it or not), and I still remember with great fondness a currant/blackberry jelly the MiL made several years ago.

So it wasn't lack of interest that kept me from getting over there to pick currants; it was a lack of opportunity. Taking the children with me would have made it sort of difficult to actually pick the currants, since this property is a bonanza of old tractors and RVs and various other items of interest to little boys.

My opportunity came this morning, however, when A. announced his intention of going to the neighbors' to cut some more wood. His brother, who is here for the weekend with his wife and daughter, went with him, as did Cubby. Charlie, the MiL, my sister-in-law, and my niece all piled in a different car and went to pick currants.

We got a LOT of currants.

Hello, my pretties.

The MiL and I spent about 45 minutes during naptime pulling the currants off their stems, after which I crushed them a little, added a bit of water, and put them on to simmer. I measured approximately 19 cups of fruit before they were crushed. The recipe for currant jelly in the Ball Blue Book calls for five cups of currant juice. I'm not sure how much juice I'll get from 19 cups of currants, but I think it's safe to assume I'll have at least enough to make two batches of jelly, which is about eight pints.

The currants are simmering at this very moment. A. has gone to the hollow to cut up an enormous limestone boulder into manageable pieces for stoneworking, his new favorite hobby. The children are still sleeping. We're going to a party on our neighbors' beach this evening (not the elderly neighbors, our next-door neighbors), at which I anticipate eating many varieties of chips and dip, although sadly abstaining from the phenomenal homemade margaritas. Later, there will be fireworks that I'll probably only see through the window, since I'll be in the house with long-sleeping children by the time it's dark enough for fireworks.

All in all, a pretty good Fourth of July. Here's hoping yours is just as good, my lovelies.

* Currants, for those of you who care, are similar in taste to a cranberry, though not quite so tart and definitely much softer than a cranberry when raw. They're very high in pectin and have a little seed in each one that is big enough to be annoying when chewed, so they're perfect for making into juice and then jelly.


Anonymous said...

You and the MiL work so hard! Mary in MN

flask said...

currant jelly ROCKS.

and you are, as always, awesome.

and i am, as usual, slow in my reading. while i am here i may as well wish you a merry christmas.