It’s been hot, really hot here lately and dry. The garden has needed watering daily and we recently put up a fence around it to keep out the deer and the rabbits which were munching the leaves off a good portion of our plants and some plants ended up disapearing entirely. We had to replant more than half of our garden here in Germany after we returned from our trip to the U.S. last month. Fortunately, the tomato plants, the eggplant, the zucchini and squash were left untouched but all the rest needed to be replaced.
I was not expecting such an attack on our little garden plot which is only a two minute walk down the street from our home. We have also been lugging water from the cemetery across the street to the garden since there is no water access on the private plot of land that we are using with the permission of its caretaker, a local gardener/landscaper. And that has been quite a hassle. It’s too far to run a hose from our house to the garden and the cemetery has the only accessible water supply within walking distance. Let me just say that walking out with several watering cans filled with water every day has attracted a few odd looks but for the most part it has been the only viable option for watering our plants. We have a rain bucket set up but it hasn’t been raining and it takes about six large watering cans to water the entire garden!
One thing that there has been plenty of this month in our secret garden area are red currants.
There are so many that even the deer can’t eat all of them…
And there has been more than enough for us to take some home every day and make currant jelly, currant jam and currant sauce with.
Anna, our 20 month old, it turns out, loves currants and will eat them right off the bush for as long as she possibly can!
In a colander wash currents under cold water several times. De-stem and remove any bad currants.Transfer to a large pot. Cook on high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Add sugar to taste and continue to boil while stirring until the desired thickness is achieved. Transfer to clean jars. Process with a hot water bath according to canning instructions if you plan to store the sauce. For a clear sauce transfer hot berries to a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth lined colander and allow to strain then press the pulp through the strainer to get the last bits of currant juice out and transfer sauce to clean jars for processing.
*I also made currant jelly today without the use of added pectin and it came out fabulous. I followed this recipe but I cut the sugar back by half a cup.
**I use a boiling hot water bath for canning, NOT the method mentioned in the above link where the jars are inverted, which is incidentally not approved by the FDA. I prefer to be on the safe side when it comes to preserving food for later consumption.