Sunday, July 15, 2012

Curant Jelly and Blackberry Jam

I wasn't going to pick and make currant jelly. I reasoned that I didn't have time. Then guilt set in. Does that happen to you? It said, "The Lord gave you a crop and though they might be a bit small, they still exist." The earth does not bring forth fruit willingly around here and you hate to waste what little you get.
So seeing as I had just gone through all my jelly and jam jars to see what I had and there wasn't any currant, I thought I'd better make hay while the sun shines. What??? You know the saying do it while you can because you never know about the future. Kind of like the hay around here. There isn't any. Life isn't certain and you do what you can when you can.
Me, well I don't make lots of jams and jelly every year. One year I'll make a little and then another I'll make a lot. A lot is what this year is. Not fruit from around here but fruit that I've happened upon non the less. I can't accomplish much else but a simple project like this while my folks are here. Their care has been intense. They leave tomorrow and I want to thank all of you who have stood by me and this blog during my scant posts.

Get ready for this coming week as Kirk and I will spend some time at the ABANA conference where he will demonstrate his knife making. What's ABANA? It is the Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America. There artist will demonstrate the creation of copper vessels, a Scadinavian door project, a sculpture and much more. So stay in touch I've got a lot of lost time to catch up on. Hopefully that fat is still good in the fridge as I've goat milk in the freezer waiting to make Goat Milk Soap.

But for this week I made current jelly and blackberry jam. The currents were from my yard, red ones, and the blackberries were frozen from the store. No, blackberries don't grow here. I'll show you some dead ones in my garden where I tried. Or maybe they just won't grow for me as our soil isn't acidic enough.

My favorite pectin is the above low sugar kind and I have a new recipe from Cook's magazine for sorbet using this same pectin.  I've got to try it one of these days.
My ancient juicer, they now make them in aluminum or stainless, is the ticket for juicing the currants. There are berries in the top section with holes for the juice to flow downward. In the middle section is where the juice is collected and from there flows out the rubber tube into a jar. The bottom section is water with a generous handful of marbles. The marbles are for my attention deficit which has me forgetting my juice on the stove too long and running the bottom section out of water. The marbles begin to dance and make noise jostling my memory.

It's why my last batch of cookies is always darker than my first two.

The recipes I use aren't anything special, just the ones on the instructions in the box.

What exciting kinds of jelly and jams are you making this year? I need inspiration.

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