Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wilklow Orchards' currants and cherries. And It.

There were yards of red currants when I got to the Wilklow stand today. At 3 punnets for $10 I bought $60 worth. About 9lbs of fruit. No, not cheap, but not expensive either, per punnet, considering how fresh and special they are, and comparing them with Wholefoods, delis and supermarkets.

I think I'll get about 16 -18 jars of jam, judging by how much I made last year. Tomorrow I will make jam. I feel a bit too popped today: got stuck into the terrace and did something drastic. Took out my standard rose. Sick. Chopped it up. Gone. Also moved tall cosmos off the edge of the roof and transplanted them. Too wind-resistant and not safe. So lots of heavy rearranging.

The nice Icelandic lady whose name I should have asked again, remembered that I had planned to take jam to my mother last year...I told her that the jar in my carry-on had been confiscated at JFK, but that the jar in the suitcase reached Cape Town safely.

Black currants! Currants are just so romantic to me. They make me think of Peter Rabbit and Sam Pig and all those wholesome English countryside animals. Peter Rabbit with mustard sauce, roast Sam Pig...shame.

I suddenly remembered that I had told Vince we would make the ill-named Bachelors' Jam. Don't think about it too hard. The French name is better: La Confiture de Vieux Garcon (thingy on the c, please). Layers of red fruit, sugar and cognac. Summer essence, I think. Though we will not use cognac. Maybe a vodka, maybe brandy. My mom and I made some long ago. It sat in a huge glass bowl with a cork stopper and lived in the walk-in safe, where it was dark and cool. You're supposed to let it sit for a few weeks. I think we left it some months. Every time we took the cork out and sniffed, strong chemical fumes would assault us. And it made noises. It hissed, and bubbled. We put the cork back in .

When the hissing and smell stopped we decanted it, straining it into smaller bottles and corking those. We kept them in the fridge, just in case.

It tasted delicious. Like Fortris. Like berries. Like summer. Like nothing alcoholic. It had a kick like a mule. It made my sister-in-law slide under the dining room table one night. It was christened It. Friends would come over and ask if we had any It in the house. It became famous.

Time to introduce It to Brooklyn. Next week. Next Saturday I will shop at the market with Vincent, who landed in Montreal just this last hour...we are in the same time zone now. How very, very strange. I have been a loner for a long time, these two years, and so has he. We will seal the deal with It. Maybe we can break It out at the threatened Communist Party. Ha.

My stash. I bought some black currants too, which are quite different, and sour cherries, for a small batch of black currant and sour cherry jam.

Tomorrow will be sticky.


  1. It's called une cédille, and here's one for you, free: ç :-)

    Welcome to my time zone!

  2. Beautiful berries! (Well, currants and cherries ...) "It" sounds wonderful! Happy jam making to you and Beence ...


  3. Merci, Centvingt. Play with the kittens for me :-)

    Hi Keli'i :-) - thank you. I changed the title!

  4. gorgeous currants! "It" sounds dangerously delicious and powerful!

  5. Enjoy the thrill of the countdown! How wonderful for you both! xx


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