Today I spent about 5 hours picking the seeds out of redcurrants with a goose quill. I kid you not. This is the traditional way of preparing the fruit for the most expensive jam in the world. No wonder!
My Shellac Sister Veronica’s dad had a wonderful crop of redcurrants so we picked them fresh from the bush. 7 helpers in rotation of 5 at a time sat at a table in the conservatory, quills in hand, picking out the seeds of half a pound of fruit. There are some fab pictures over on the flickr site. It was a day of much hilarity and heavy industry. Dorothy M, Trix and Kat created a mammoth vat of chutney AND some plum jam AND some delicious blackcurrant cordial. We managed half a pound of deseeded redcurrants which resulted in 12 beautiful teeny tiny jars of Bar-Le-Duc.
One of our epepineuses (she-seed-removers) summed it up perfectly when she left, “Goodbye everybody. It’s been weird fun.” Yes indeed. And a heartwarmingly wonderful way to spend a Saturday, creating rays of sun in crystal jars. We chose the nicest looking jar to enter in the WI jam competition. We’re planning a trip down to Denman College in October to the Real Jam Festival to see how our baby gets on. None of us are members of the WI but we’ll bundle down there in “Shrek” anyway, shrieking like banshees and brandishing our goose quills.
For more information on the crazy jam that is Bar-Le-Duc, here is the article that inspired me to have a go at it. I cannot imagine what occasion will feel special enough to actually crack open my jar of it. It’s a precious artefact…