7 Jul 2014

Hestia's moment with redcurrants

We are just back from a week in Stafford and by Stafford I really mean Alton Towers.  Not me, personally, of course - hey, I know my roller-coaster limitations and that limit is Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

But I'm not here to talk to you of vomiting small boys and ultra-expensive pottery!  NO! On our return, I spotted that the Redcurrants were not only gleaming like rubies from the Orient,  but that the blackbirds were gobbling them up as fast as they were ripening.

Picking had to commence forthwith.

Now to make jam and stuff you really need to be prepared, but I didn't have time for all that poncing about - making sure that I had the correct sugar or a RECIPE or anything, no, I just had to get out there with Sonshine and pick until our fingers were scarlet from the juice.

And don't worry, there are still billions left for the birdies to scoff, believe me.

We weighed our haul : 450g.  Not exactly enough to set up a production line that might rival Robertson's Jam, but still enough to maybe get a couple of jars.

We rinsed the fruit.  We got a pot out.  We decided to go for equal amounts of currant to sugar.  TART is an understatement.

We got them boiling.

We decided to do redcurrant jelly - for serving with lamb, pate and all that sensible jazz.

We didn't have a muslin to strain the fruit through.  But I DID have a muslin Liz Earle facecloth. Which I duly cut up.

We stretched it over a bowl and secured with a too-small elastic band.  We snapped the elastic band. We did a bit of puffing and panting.  We opted for Sonshine holding the muslin taut over the bowl and ME pouring the boiling hot jammy stuff into it.

It was at this point Tartarus decided to ask us where we had put the phone chargers on our return from Stafford.

Tartarus:  Where did you put the phone chargers?

Me *pouring boiling jam carefully into a bowl over my son's bowed head and petrified hands*  What?

Tartarus:  Where's the chargers?

Me:  I'm a bit busy right now....

Tartarus: Where's the chargers for the phones?

Me:  I DON'T FUCKING KNOW.  I'M TRYING TO POUR JAM THROUGH A FACECLOTH YOU TWAT!  Actually, I didn't say that, I just said 'bit busy right now.'

And at that precise moment, Sonshine let the muslin go and the whole lot just splatted into the bowl.

Tartarus:  I need my phone charger.

Me:   For FUCK'S SAKES!! We've got a disaster in here and you're asking us about ruddy phone chargers?  *mopping up scarlet jammy stuff from work surface and small boy*

Sonshine:  *somewhat testily* They're in the DRAWER dad!

Tartarus wanders off and checks the drawer that the phone chargers are kept in.  And emerges with the phone charger.  Bloody men.

Anyway, Sonshine and I set-to again and this time we actually manage to fill TWO small jars with jelly.

We bemoan that there is a load of berry stuff left in the muslin.

So we decide to make a tart with the berry stuff left in the muslin.

Again, with no preparation.

We dig out some ready-made pastry.  We roll it out thinner.  We pop it in a tart case.  We look at the amount of berry mixture that's left.  It wouldn't even smear over the base of the tart case.  Tip everything out of the tart case and get out some muffin cases.  Squash the pastry into the (buttered) muffin cases.  We manage to create four.  Tip in the jam mixture.  Fit pasty caps on top.  Throw in oven.

Twenty minutes later, we have four lovely redcurrant mini tarts.

For diehard fans: pic also includes Kevin the pain-au-chocolat

  • the kitchen resembles Beirut.
  • My nerves are shredded due to entire fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants joie de vivre

But clearly I AM a domestic goddess *high fives other passing deities*

And Tartarus DOES have his phone charger.

Just another Monday morning on Olympus.  How about you?


  1. LOL!!! Why are men so helpless about finding things? The tarts and jelly look lovely!

    1. Men have a special kind of blindness which makes them unable to see the thing that they are looking for. When they are looking AT IT! :-D

  2. LMAO now to find some lamb to eat the jelly with ...

    1. Got some pate for that very reason! It's lovely!

  3. Replies
    1. Pretty, but also fiendishly stressful :-D

  4. LOL. This is hilarious but at least you triumphed in the end :) All hail the domestic goddess and currant jam!

    1. I am already a jar down - gave one to my mother as a wee gift. I shall need to get out and pick the gooseberries next!!

  5. Love your enterprising spirit, who needs recipes anyway?! :D

  6. Tomorrow I shall be making 'Garden Compote' a creation of my own that consists of 4 raspberries, a handful of black currants and a few blush gooseberries that I missed at first harvest. I too have no recipe or preparation but will no doubt create a culinary masterpiece to dollop over ice cream!


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