The black currant bushes are absolutely groaning with fruit. The weather might be inconsistent but it suits fruits!
It’s been wet, warm and sunny by turns, perfect for fruit. The bushes were planted in the hedge by a previous owner. They aren’t tended or looked after in any way whatsoever. The variety is unknown.
The bushes in the fruit patch just 18 months old, planted last, back end, ‘Ben Lomond’, bare-rooted, in ground well manured in March and tenderly nurtured, haven’t cropped very well at all.
Bushes that are going particularly well are the gooseberries. We planted two varieties, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Careless’ two years ago, bought from a Garden Centre near Lancaster.
Both are heavy with fruit promising a really rich harvest within a couple of weeks. I think a liberal dose of good French manure in February did the business there.
It’s odd how the ‘wild cards ‘ flourish. In the vegetable garden we have ‘guerilla’ Horse radish and ‘rogue’ Jerusalem artichokes. They were not planted this year but are thriving nonetheless when left to their own devices. Good old nature!
So the plan is this year, to harvest and then throw pieces ‘back in’ for next year’s soups and sauces
But there in the freezer is much of last year’s black currant crop. It has to be used. The household brooks no waste! So it’s jam. Linda picked up a brilliant recipe from an old French friend. It’s so easy .
1 kilo of fruit. 1 kilo of jam sugar. Just equal quantities, really. Into the pan. No liquid added. Bring to the boil. Boil for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes it will pass the cold saucer test. Put a splodge on the cold saucer, wait a second, then draw a spoon across it and it will leave a groove. Whilst it’s still warm put it in clean jars with a greaseproof ring ( we use the inner bag of a Cornflakes packet cut into circles) and seal it. Shazam! Jam! And it works, so experiments with other fruits are on the cards.
Put in less sugar and it could be a fruity mixer with yoghurt or a mixer with bland old vanilla ice cream from the supermarket and re-frozen, to return as ‘home made black currant delight’!