Sunday, 16 September 2007

Widbrook Wood

This morning I went out for a walk along the canal at about nine o'clock and came back via Widbrook Wood, a part of the Moulton estate which Alex Moulton (famous for the Moulton bicycle and dynamo) has generously opened to the public. The week before I'd seen some red current bushes full of ripe fruit - light red, translucent and glistening. They looked so attractive that I decided to pick some this time and collected about four pounds from just three bushes growing near the grassy walkways that the estate has laid out between the trees and shrubs.

The trouble with currants is that they are too sour to be eaten raw, and have such large seeds that they can't be used in pies. Just about all you can do with them is make red currant jelly - so that's what I did. I found a simple recipe on the internet which didn't even require pectin. All you had to do was boil up the currants until they were mushy, strain them through a "jelly bag", and then boil up the juice with a large amount of sugar. We don't use sugar at home, so I had to nip out to the corner shop for some, but I did have a suitable bag from my wine making days.

Then I boiled, and I boiled, and I boiled. I was afraid the end result might be a sort of red toffee, but the hot juice did eventually jell into a sticky goo, reminiscent of jam, which I was able to pour into two large jars. It tastes nice but it is very sweet, even though I used less sugar than the recipe specified.

The question now is: how much venison am I going to have to eat in order to use up all the jelly?

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