Sunday 12 July 2009

The fruits of their labours.......!

Given our surfit of fruit, the Gnomelets were dispatched to pick a load yesterday. To hear the initial grumblings and chunterings you'd have thought I was sending them to forage deep in a dangerous forest where they'd be surrounded by wild and ferocious beasties, rather than going a hundred yards up the garden to the fruit cage!
However, bless 'em, they soon recovered their normal good humour and chattering and singing could be heard from within the depths of the fruit cage - along with the occasional moan about 'currant-pickers back' and 'slave labour'!
This is their haul after about an hours' work!

Then they sat and carefully prepared all the fruit, stripping the currants from all their zillions of little stalks - what a pair of stars they were! (First-Born is on the left, Last-Born is on the right)

Total outcome from a day's cooking = 7 jars of redcurrant jam, 4 jars of raspberry jam, 2 jars of blackcurrant jam, 1 large kilner jar of redcurrant vodka, 2 medium/large kilner jars of redcurrant gin, a tray of 'topped and tailed' gooseberries in the freezer, a pint of redcurrant juice let down 50/50 with water and one of my all time favourites sweets - a summer pudding! Not a bad days' work!

Though I am curious to know why the redcurrants float in gin, but sink in vodka?!

I've never blogged about my cooking before, but Shady Gardener of 'Does Everything Grow Better in my Neighbour's Garden?' at yardisgreen asked me if I shared recipes - and it appears that, as of now, I do!

The photo below is the recipe for the redcurrant tart. It's from the July 2008 Sainsbury's magazine, but you can see why I kept it!

If you click on the photo it'll enlarge and be easily readable - enjoy!

Anyway, we're off on our holidays at the weekend - to a cottage in the Dordogne in France! Along with all the sleeping, eating, sleeping, canoeing, cycling, sleeping, eating, swimming, walking, sleeping etc. that we plan to do (do you get the feeling that I'm just a tad tired today?!), we're also hoping to pop in to see Rob of ourfrenchgarden whilst we're down there and to see his lovely garden - I can't wait!

Normal service on the progress of the Japanese Garden and the erecting of the Tea House will be resumed in a fortnight or so when I get back - exciting times ahead!!!


nilla|utanpunkt said...

WOw, what a harvest! I'm jealous! I only have a small, newly introduced gooseberry shrub in the garden. Still, that small handful of ripe berries gave me immense pleasure, picking them straight from shrub to mouth.

I couldn't say why redcurrants float in gin but sink in vodka, I tend to sink in both ;-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Camellia - there is such pleasure in eating fruit sun-warmed and straight from the shrub. Many a raspberry has gone that way this summer!
Haha - your gina nd vodka comment really made me chuckle! feel free to come and share it - the vodka will be ready in 2 weeks! :)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is a lot of fruit for just one hour! Everything sounds good, especially the redcurrant vodka :)
Have a great trip and I hope you get to meet Rob.

Garden Lily said...

I finally finished picking my redcurrant bush, but I didn't remove them from the stems. I cooked up the berries on the stems, and made a nice currant juice concentrate. Yummy!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Catherine - the gnomelets worked hard in spite of their grumblings! The redcurrant vodka will be ready in a fortnight - just as we get back from France, so I'll think of you when we try it! I'm looking forward to meeting Rob - I've not yet met another real live blogger!

Garden Lily - Your juice concentrate sounds nice ....and easier than picking off all the stalks. I'll give it a go - thanks! :)

Gordon Mason said...

I do like redcurrant vodka but after one or two somehow the questions of whether they sink or float begins to fade away!

Have a great time in the Dordogne. Sithee.

VP said...

Yum, yum and more yum!

Have a great holiday - I hope I post this comment for you to pass on my regards to Rob when you see him. It's great to meet up with fellow bloggers :)

VP said...

oops left out the key words 'in time' there. Silly me.

WV says kinler!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Woody - the recurrant vodka will be ready when I get back from my jollies in a fortnight, so feel free to pop over to darkest Derbyshire to try it out! (and I'll pick your brains about veg and allottments!)

Hi VP - oh, I am SO ready for this holiday this year ! I'll certainly pass on your regards to Rob - I'm really looking forward to meeting him. I already feel like I know him, so I'm not sure what to expect - other than a nice time! :)

Phoenix C. said...

All those berries look like a collage on the first photo!

Sounds marvellous, all the goodies you've prepared. Redcurrant vodka sounds interesting! The redcurrant tart looks glorious.

RURAL said...

So regarding the comment on my blog about the weather. Will you be stopping by to visit Rob? That would be a lovely side trip.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, what a harvest! The red currant tart looks delish--yummy! Now if I could only find someone to cook/bake for me....

Nutty Gnome said...

Phoenix C. - I have to confess that First-Born did the arty berry arrangement for the photo. She's SO good at that sort of thing! The redcurrant vodka will be ready when we get back from holiday - I've never made it before, so I'm quite curious as to what it'll taste like! :)

Jen - it's finally stopped raining here, but it's still quite windy ...we definately need to head south! Yes, we're going to go visit Rob - we'll be staying about an hour or so north of where he lives and they've invited us down - can't wait to have a good old rootle round his gorgeous garden!!

Monica - yes, it finally got round to being a cracking good harvest, it just took its time to get going! The redcurrant tart is seriously good mother-in-law reckons that if you can read, you can cook - so go for it!! :)

joey said...

Yum ~ a grand post, Nutty. Would have loved to join you in the kitchen to sample the treats! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful vacation ... how fun to visit Rob and ... don't forget your camera!!!

Pondside said...

That all looks delicious!
I had to come by for a peak at what's been going on in your garden - wondered about the progress of the tea house.
I hope you're having a grand time on holiday in France!

Carolynn Anctil said...

I LOVE red current jelly. My Mom is my source for canned goods. I'm way too impatient to do it myself.

I'm so incredibly envious of your vacation to France. In a cottage, no less! Have a great time and bring back lots of photos!

L'Artisan said...

Ohhhh, red currants! You are so lucky to have them -- I remember them in the markets when we lived in Sussex, but we don't get them here in the U.S. I actually gave my parents several current bushes (they are retired and have time to garden) so that I would have a continuing supply. They love them too -- they're German and use them in many recipes.

HappyMouffetard said...

Wonderful harvest. Hope you have/had a great holiday!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi everyone, I'm back from my jollies in France - a post about my exploits ( and our visit to Rob!)is to follow shortly!

Joey - with your cooking skills you are ALWAYS welcome in my kitchen!

Pondside - serious tea house work starts this weekend now that we're refreshed from our fabby holiday in France!

Carolynn - I was thinking of you in France and the photos will be up soon.

Edelweiss Transplanted - I've just been bottling the redcurrant vodka........but I love them without alcohol too! Poor you not to have them _ we'll have to see what we can do to remedy that!

HM - I thinkj that bottlimng the redurrrant vodka has goner to my tytping fiunger!! ::::::)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I am curious about your berry cage. I'll have to find it on your blog later. I'm almost awake enough to go outside and get some gardening done before going to church. What a nice harvest of berries! That tart looks good, too. I don't think I've ever made one.

I enjoyed your post about France, too. What fun!

Maybe it was Shady Gardener's blog you saw a comment from me on. I think it's cool you get to see another garden blogger's garden. I've heard of Rob, but don't remember if I've been to his blog. I should check it out.

It's always fun to discover more blogs, even though I have trouble keeping up with them all. Thanks for visiting mine!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Sue and welcome - thanks for popping in and for your nice comments. I look forward to seeing you again!
Yes, I think it was Shady's blog I found you from! :)