Summer preserving is, of course, in full swing, and one of the awesome things about all the stuff we’ve planted in our yard is that it’s finally paying off! We added the currants the first year we had the house, and the raspberries went in last summer (and looked right spindly until this spring, when they e x p l o d e d into a thicket!). So now? Now is the season of putting a up few jars of pure concentrated summer to keep those bleak winter days in perspective!
The currents have been slowly ripening, so current jelly has been on my mind for a little bit. But this all came together when I finally got a chance to pick a couple pounds of raspberries undisturbed (essentially when John went to his family reunion & my work schedule prevented my attendance–boo!). But, since John wasn’t the one picking the berries, a few of them actually made it into the bucket! And since the red currants were also ripe to bursting, I figured the universe was telling me to make jelly. (Yes, the universe tells me to make jelly. It has also, on occasion, told me to lay on the couch in my jammies and watch PBS cooking show marathons. The universe is weird, but I listen.)
I hadn’t made raspberry + currant jelly before, but I figured it’d be pretty awesome (given that it contains fruits that are, to me, the essence of summer). I used a recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp, mostly because it only called for a few cups of each fruit, which left me lots of currants for other things, too (like plain currant jelly, and a nice batch of shrub).
I couldn’t find my jelly bag (perhaps the cat made off with it?), so I improvised with an old pillowcase, some scrap lumber, and a couple kitchen chairs–worked like a charm to strain out all the pulp!
Aside from that little DIY adaptation, it was fairly standard jelly making endeavor–add the sugar, boil it up, pot into jars, seal. Easy peasy. I “accidentally” had about 4 oz. left over…you know, for quality control! And! I found the perfect jelly-stirring spoon (my old one died last year and had yet to be replaced). A friend got me this one (with a little fox carved into it–so cute!) for my birthday this year, and it is perfect!