This week and last has turned out are the berry weeks, where all the berry bushes in the garden ripen at pretty much the same time. Which also happened to be the week after a long vacation and just when my wife returned to work after a very long break. The best time to go pick a bunch of berries, clean them and cook jam – because it was the only time. In a way probably fortunate, because it is also the kind of thing that, if we could choose exactly when to do it, we wouldn’t get it done.
Thursday Jul 16 was the date for gooseberry, although we had to stop picking because of mosquitoes and to get the jam done before it got ridiculously late. We picked the rest on Sunday and got a total yield of 3½ kg of gooseberry from a single plant (an 8 year old Ribes ‘Invicta’).
To cook the jam we cleaned the berries and followed the instructions on the side of the jam sugar bag: Mix 1 kg berries with 1 kg jam sugar in a pot (using less will make the jam less sweet – vary according to taste), then add a bit of water and the seeds from one vanilla bean (we added the bean too). Boil for 10 minutes, remove the foam on top and then pour into hot, sterilized glasses. Tighten the lids on the glasses and briefly place them upside down so that the hot jam sterilizes the top of the glass and the inside of the lids. That’s it.
We also got raspberry enough for a couple of glasses using the same recipe (except the vanilla bean).
(I note that what started out as yet another technology blog may be turning into yet another cooking blog – now, that’s a challenge to myself : )