Irritating little beasties

Gooseberries, as I have mused before, are an awful lot of work, especially when all you have is the tiny ones I stripped from the gooseberry bushes at the community garden this week. It doesn’t take long to pick them, and the thorns on the bushes are pretty easy to avoid (bitter memories of scratched arms/legs/hands from the black cap raspberries). But topping and tailing the little beasts is irritating and finicky, whether you use your fingernails or try with scissors, which is what one internet recipe suggested. But gooseberries do have a very distinctive taste, and if you boil them long enough they turn into a chewy, rust-red jam, so I wasn’t going to pass up on the chance. But there really were not many fruit left on the bushes. What was I going to do with a mere 375 grams of small red gooseberries?

gooseberries

Luckily I had some leftover strawberries in the fridge, so I cleaned the gooseberries, chopped the strawberries (which weighed in at 275 grams), and mixed the fruit with the juice of a lemon and 450 grams of sugar for a quick-boil small-batch jam.

The result: three jars of pretty pink jam, which will probably flow nicely into yogurt — it’s a little on the runny side. But then I boiled it for less than 5 minutes, which even for high-pectin gooseberries maybe wasn’t quite enough.

But there’s something very magical about small-batch jams. A little taste of summer.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ah, just found this. So they do grow near you. The jam sounds good, another thing to bear in mind for next year’s crop.

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