Redcurrant jelly

by Hattie

In the summer we would pick redcurrants from the the garden. Mum would wash them in the big sink & then put a big mixing bowl full of glassy round red jewels on stalks on the table and another bowl to catch the redcurrants as we stripped them from their stalks through the tines of a fork. 

They’d be boiled with sugar & when cooked & cool enough she’d set an upturned stool on the table, firmly tie the corners of a large muslin cloth to each leg & set a pan carefully under it. The kitchen would smell tart & tangy, a smell I can still recall even though I’ve not smelled it for over 50 years. The mixture would be carefully & gently ladled onto the muslin and slowly the liquid dripped through into the pan overnight.  
The next morning, before breakfast, she’d reheat the liquid & pour it into jars that had been sterilised in the oven.  It was clear & the colour of garnets.  

The skins & seed left behind in the muslin would be mixed with sliced apple, sprinkled with sugar & put into a pie for later. A once a year treat.
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