Two Bowls Of Rubies

It’s redcurrant or Ribes rubrum season at Coppertop! Our cold winter and spring have helped produce a bumper crop of these gems this summer on the six currant bushes near the veggie garden. Even with severe pruning every other year these bushes reach about 6×6′. That’s a whole lotta currants.

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I took the sunny photos yesterday. Today dawned to clouds and mist which seems fitting; I remember picking currants before in misty weather. So I made a first attempt at harvesting, spending a couple hours picking the ripe ones and trying to leave behind the majority of over-ripe and under-ripe currants. Compared to picking raspberries, which also happen to be ripe now, the currants are challenging. But oh, the beauty!

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Picking off the stems with the jewels is important, as the stems can be cooked to help add pectin.  I ended up with two bowls full, each holding 12 cups.

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I’m not sure if I’ll harvest the rest this year or just leave them for the birds. Now begins the process of rinsing, sorting, cooking, straining, and canning, thus turning the currants into gorgeous jelly.  Before that, I always save a few of the prettiest currant stems to freeze in long ice cube trays for cocktails. Summer in a glass!

4 thoughts on “Two Bowls Of Rubies

  1. I just finished off my currant jelly… I’ll have to beg more off my mother!
    They look beautiful and I never knew you could process them with the stems on. Oh the time I’ve wasted!
    I think I ate about a dozen gooseberries this year. I watch them grow each spring and then consider all the work of picking, making jelly… and then procrastinate until the birds take care of my dilemma!

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    • Glad you are familiar with and a fan of currant jelly. It is very useful throughout the year for sauces, glazes, and more, so it’s one of my favorites. I ended up with nine half pints and will give some away to family who enjoy it, too. Mom is a fan! I did debate a second picking, since so many currants remain, but I’m with you on just letting the birds have a go. It entertains me to watch our chickens jump to eat from lower branches so I leave the lowest unpicked for them.

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