Friday, July 10, 2009

Currant events

red currants fig. a: red currants

It's that time of year again, and over at Pavillon de la Pomme, our favorite local autocueillette establishment, you can find both red currants

black currants fig. b: black currants

and black currants at the moment, with blueberries, gooseberries, and others on the horizon (if the Good Lord's willing, and the sun keeps shinin', that is). Red currants are a personal favorite, and you can definitely find enough for all your home canning needs, but a late frost and a whole lot of rain hasn't made for the best crop. Black currants, on the other hand, are a considerably heartier variety, and they seem to have absolutely thrived. We found the black currant bushes heavily laden with perfectly ripe berries, so we focused our attentions on them.

While you're out there, don't miss out on Pavillon de la Pomme's apple cider, apple cider vinegar, honey, and maple syrup (look for their private reserve in the clear glass bottles),

farm-fresh eggs fig. c: fresh eggs

not to mention eggs so fresh their yolks will get up and talk to you.



rich said...

I have a problem.

I've got an allotment with five redcurrant bushes, inherited from an old Polish guy who clearly loved redcurrants. I have more redcurrants than I can shake a stick at.

Every year, I make redcurrant jelly, which disposes of a couple of kilos. The jelly sits in the cupboard and gets the occasional outing when lamb or game is on the menu, but if I went to look at it now, I'd find over half of it still there. It just doesn't get used.

I freeze the rest, for use later in pies and crumbles, but the redcurrants seem a bit incongruous. I use them because I feel I've got to and because they shouldn't go to waste.

It would be better to use them fresh.

What should I do?

Todd said...

Hey Guys! How are you?

Michelle congrats, on the good review! We Are proud of you.

This post is perfect.

I meant to tell you both when you were down here for the open house that I identified one of Bonnie's old shrubs in the front of the house.

It is a clove-scented currant or in Latin, Ribes Odoratum. It is native to the northeastern U.S. and totally edible.

The shrub is covered in these translucent green currants now and I have been doing some reading and believe they should turn black.

Do you have this wild currant in Quebec? Do you know anything about it?

I will take some photos for you, so you can see the beautiful foliage and fruit.

Miss and love you both.

michelle said...

Hi Rich, all I can say is I wish I had your problem. When I was small, my favourite activity was sitting under a red currant bush and eating until they were all gone. It's true that they are more difficult to eat out of hand than, say, cherries, but those who love them, LOVE them. I am sure your Polish man was one of the latter. I make jelly for toast in the morning. You can make Cumberland sauce for meats and such, but it sounds like you're using the regular jelly for that. Summer pudding is good way to round up all the small berries around and corral them into a dessert, but too many red currants and it becomes too seedy and tart.
You can melt a bit of jelly and use it to glaze tarts, but that won't help with a glut, will it?
Jelly is really the best way to use them up. Or a syrup for lemonade-type drinks. Great with white wine, too. Same procedure as for a jelly, less sugar, and don't cook it to a gel.
Can't you give away small jars of jelly as Christmas gifts? Hope I've helped.

Todd, how lucky you are to have black currants, my very favourite. The fruits will turn black and can be eaten out of hand, made into jellies and jams, infused in vodka for cassis, etc. I don't know if I've ever had that exact variety. The farm I go to has at least 3 different kinds, and they can't remember which. All are great, though. Hope to see you soon.

Caleb said...

I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.


Amy said...

Mmmm... I love red currants. I made financiers once and threw a red currants on the top of each one. Their sourness was perfect with the sweet cake. Lovely, and also worked well w/ frozen berries (a treat in the winter). I've also made a tart with currants folded into beaten egg whites and then baked. Also delicious!