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Ruby Delight

July 16, 2012

This is the first time in 21 years I haven’t had a plum tree to climb. I am missing my little orchard with its sweet-scented blossoms in spring and buckets of fruit in late summer.

While I had to say goodbye to my plums, apples, pear, nectarine, and kiwis, we did have a few berry bushes that the Mr transplanted for me. And this bit of sunshine.

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When my sweet, handsome man goes shopping with Baby Girl, you never know what they’ll come home with. At its worst it could be a three-foot wide skeleton ghost; at its best a crabapple tree and a currant bush. We left the tree, but the bush is certainly thriving.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one to notice. The birds had been feasting by the time I got around to picking these little ruby gems.

Now comes the question: what do you do with currants? They’re really tiny, full of seeds, and not that tasty.

But I grew these silly things, and so by golly we’re going to eat them. The way my broccoli and tomato plants were rolling around the deck last week in the wind, this could be the sum total of my harvest.

So I went to my favorite online recipe source Tastespotting.com. I love how you can type in some obscure ingredient like lemon balm or purple potatoes and it’ll come back with dozens of pictures of foods each with their own story. Pictures, food, stories, how could I go wrong?

While they had some lovely treats, I decided I’d also give Pinterest a try, and there I hit the jackpot. Now I do a mean job in the kitchen, but I can’t stretch one cup of currants into five, so I had to limit my choice of recipes.

So I decided on tasty French Popsiclesand and an oh so fab Italian Dinner with just a sprinkling of currants in each.

I’ve made “healthy” Popsicles in the past that my kids have refused to eat–these in no way resembled them. And the chicken dinner was divine.

I’m still amazed at how I can swap recipes with people from around the world. Last year, I made beet pancakes from Russia ( much to my families chagrin) just because I really liked the crazy translation. The recipe says to serve these pancakes with lust (perhaps they meant passion?). With that recommendation, I had to try them.

Now that my cup of currants is gone, I can hope my blueberry crop survives the birds. Maybe some shiny streamers will scare them off.

Next month we will be enjoying mountains of wild blackberries. And I will dream of next year, and the little fruit trees we will plant.

What are you harvesting from you backyard these days? Have you ever eaten currants?

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From → Gardening

8 Comments
  1. Lori (Petersen) Rankin permalink

    I have never tried currants. While I have heard of them, I had no idea what they were exactly.

    I am harvesting tomatoes, Roma and Cherry so far, some beef steaks are coming soon. We have had some zuchinni, I thought I would have a yellow squash when we got back from vacation – but alas DD#2 had some troubles following watering directions and they are done for. We have had many jalapenos (just one variety, a mild heat). Patiently (or not) watching watermelon and cantelope continue to grow.

    But my big project is trying to develop a sand hill plum patch. I ran across one at the Farmer’s Market early in the season. They spread out into patches, so it will take some time for it to develop. I have no idea what I am doing, as this is a wild plant in our neck of the woods (not sure where else in the country they grow). But I have hopes. I hope one day to be able to pick those juicy plums and make jelly, just like my grandma used to. She would go out in the sand hills near her home and harvest the wild plums. Soooo good.

    Hope those birds stay away from those berries!

    • I’m jealous of all you’re harvesting. You’ll have to keep me updated on your sand hill plums. I haven’t heard of them before. Are they a tree that spreads?

      I’m amazed at how early the gardens start producing in the Midwest. With our cold and rainy springs, the gardens don’t take off till late July at the earliest.

  2. Mary Kay Birum permalink

    As a yearly summer visitor to this family from June to Sept. we have always looked forward to Mrs. garden, and we too are missing the fruits of her labor. However, the garden on the deck is looking like it will produce wonderful broccoli and tomatoes however. Not as large a quantity
    as previous years, but there will be a harvest none the less. We understand the decision for the garden spot has been made, so one day soon, the garden will once again be in full swing.

    • Thanks MK. It’ll all come together in time. Sometimes I miss the little things and can’t help wonder if there will be a good plum crop this year and if the kiwi will finally produce… I hope the new people are enjoying it.

      Sent from iPhone

  3. Lori (Petersen) Rankin permalink

    Sand Hill Plums are a bush, but they do get up to about 5 feet tall. My lone transplant looks similiar to a very small tree – It still has leaves, so we will just keep watering.

    • Good luck with your plums. It’s fun to have ties to people you love through plants or belongings. I know when you pick plums, you’ll think of your grandma.

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