Anyhow, back to the plot . . . the soft fruit plot to be precise; our currants have loved the soaking they got last year followed by a good old fashioned snowy winter, so that when the warm weather came they blossomed and the recent heat ripened the fruits that hang like strings of pearls, rubies and jet beads in the bushes.
I had protected the White Versailles Currants from the birds with a wire mesh cage . . . there is just one bush - it's fruits are precious.
We have many Red Currant bushes, an unknown variety that was in the garden when we moved here; I planted the prunings and they all grew! This year we didn't net them, the larder is still stacked with jars of red currant jelly from last year, so I was happy to share them with the local Blackbirds.
The Black Currants are another unknown variety that came with the garden and my enthusiastic growing from cuttings! The berries are HUGE! The Blackbirds prefer the Red Currants, so there is no need to net them.
On Saturday afternoon I spent a few happy hours picking currants while listening to TMS on my iPhone headphones via wifi. I had found the perfect recipe for some of our currants on Fenland Lottie's blog – Frozen Fruit Yogurt :-)
First I had to clean and de-stalk the currants, cook and purée them – three times for the three separate colours (this took a lot longer than I thought!). I don't have an ice-cream maker, but neither did Fenland Lottie (her's had broken) so as the three tubs of mixture started to freeze I had to take them out of the freezer and beat them. Then I realized the White and Red Currant ices were way too tart (mouth puckeringly so!) so I tipped them into mixing bowls, added honey and beat them thoroughly before re-freezing.
It all took a long long time.
And a lot of energy . . . my energy – I worked hard for these ices!
Tonight we tasted them – they were worth all the effort!
And when the thermometer soars again tomorrow I know how I can cool off ;-)