Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lost post

Last night I wrote a brilliant essay on the U.S. Constitution, only to hit "publish" and have the whole system crash. This happens to me a lot, especially in the evenings, when Blogger seems to be worn out from the labours of the day. Unfortunately, the evening is when I can best afford the time to write. I'll try to reconstruct my thoughts later on.

Meanwhile, a momentous event is happening in our house; I have harvested the first ever crop of currants, and I am attempting to make jelly. This has never happened before. For the past 2 years, the currant bushes were too small to produce much of anything, and we let the birds have their way with them. This year, I invested in plastic netting to protect the bushes, and lo and behold! We ended up with 2 quarts of pink (i.e. white) currants, and 3 cups of red ones! No black currants, unfortunately. I think it's because all 3 bushes break dormancy at different times, and the black currant bush is the earliest. I suspect the blossoms were caught by a hard frost, and we lost all the fruit. Oh, well, better luck next year.

Right now the currants are crushed and simmering in the kettle. I've rigged up a cheesecloth jelly bag to strain the juice, and in a few hours we'll see what the result it.

UPDATE: After about an hour and a half, I have 5 cups of juice. That's short of the 6 cups the recipe promised, but not bad. I can manage with 5 cups; it'll just make about 8 jars instead of ten. I'll wait another hour, but I'm pretty sure there's no getting another cup out of these dregs. I don't want to squeeze the bag because that will cloud the jelly.

UPDATE: WE HAVE JELLY! It made 9 1-cup jars. Getting those jars in and out of the boiling water turned out to be a challenge, as I don't have the proper rubber-ended tongs to pick them up. I ended up bailing half the water out of the roasting pan, when I remembered that I'd picked up a big perforated flat spoon at last week's auction. It worked - I was able to slide it under each jar, and pick it up, as the water drained away. Now they're resting, and we'll just have to hope they set. I tasted a little - it's quite tart.

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