Here's my backyard:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep...
... and chock full of red currants. I spent hours and hours and hours this summer pillaging red currants from those woods, packing the berries away in the freezer until a day rolled around when I'd be in the mood to make some jelly!
I've mentioned my freezer-full-o-berries multiple times before and you might think I'm kidding but you would be wrong. Behold:
Yeah. You're backing away from me, aren't you... Now true, it's not berries all the way down. There's other stuff in the bottom.
Truthfully, I'm not really sure -- the thought of shifting all those ice-cold bags of berries in order to get to the bottom, or even the middle of the freezer, for that matter... well, just the thought of it tuckers me out. I'll dig out the tater tots and blackberry ice cream someday. At some point. In the distant future. Very, very distant.
Today, let's focus on my beeeyyyoooottteeeeful jelly-making:
Last weekend I made my first batch. I believe that red currant jelly is the Queen of Jellies. Tart, sweet, complex, and pretty as hell:
The color of it reminds me of rubies. Tasty, tasty rubies.
I am obsessed with the notion of finding more of these lids. They've been discontinued and I'm not sure why. One person I consulted said it might be because they leave a weird residue behind when you hot water bath them. I don't care. I just want more of them. My husband will tell you that I'm totally superficial in my way of thinking that things taste better when they look pretty, and these lids are pretty.
Tie a little raffia around them. Hang a little tag on the raffia telling people what kind of jelly it is. Who wouldn't want to get a jar of jelly like that?
Here's the recipe I used should you find yourself with a glut of red currants (you lucky dog, you). I think it makes twelve jars? Yeah, that didn't even put a dent in my stock of red currants. I need to make another batch pronto.
Red Currant Jelly
|About 5 qt. or 7 lb. fully ripe red currants|
|1-1/2 cups water|
|1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin|
|1/2 tsp. butter or margarine|
|7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl|