CURRANT EVENTS – August 2012

marywebBy Mary V. Tucker

Not the kind you read about in newspapers but those little round, red berries that grow on a bush. For the past two weeks, I’ve been going to my currant bush in the back yard, in the evening when it is shady, to pick the currants as they ripen. The bush was heavy with berries, too many for me to use so I shared them with family and friends. Currants can be used many ways, fresh or frozen. Use fresh currants in pancakes, muffins, tea breads, or for jelly making. Mixing currants with natural yogurt and topping with granola makes a great breakfast.Picture3

Freezing currants is simple. After picking, remove stems, rinse with cold water, drain, spread out on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, measure out desired amount into ziplock bags. I usually put one cup per snack bag. For jelly making, measure in the amount needed for one batch of jelly. Frozen currants can be used in the same way as fresh currants. ( This also works for other berries.)

When the currants start ripening, I cover them with sheer curtains to keep the birds away. When I’m done picking what I want, there are always some that haven’t ripened so I take the covers off and leave the rest for the birds.

The next berry picking will be blackberries. I didn’t get any raspberries this year, but now that the rain came the blackberries should be good. ~