Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Deep purple

After the triumph of my "how to give a guinea pig antibiotics" tutorial I thought it was high time I shared a little more wisdom with you all.  Come along as I walk you through how I make blackcurrant cordial.


I had loads of blackcurrants from the allotment, but not much time or patience, so I thought I'd give cordial a go, as you don't need to get rid of all the stalks.  Really, that was my only reason for making it - we never have cordial in the house, just fruit juice.  But I was feeling lazy, I didn't have much time, it seemed the perfect solution.

You start by heating up the blackcurrants with water and sugar.  Boil it for five minutes, then mash the fruit with a potato masher.  You can do this while the children get into the bath, as I did.

Then you just need to add some citric acid and simmer it for a couple more minutes.  That's it!

Now the straining bit.  Pay close attention.  You need to rig up some kind of thing whereby your blackcurrants are suspended in muslin above a big bowl.  A bar stool turned upside down with the seat on the kitchen counter is the kind of thing that might work.  Then you can peg the muslin onto the bar stool.  If you're in a hurry you might not bother with too many pegs.  If you don't bother with too many pegs, you'll get this kind of effect.


It's not what we're aiming for.  Blackcurrants in liquid, dropped from a height of around five feet, splash outwards in a radius of approximately twelve feet.  It was far worse than it looks from this picture.  The hall carpet, which is fairly pale, has splashes.  It was over every vertical surface, inside the cupboards, all over me, everywhere.  It dries surprisingly quickly.  Shortly after the disaster, the Tesco delivery lady arrived with the week's shopping.  I'd forgotten that I'd ordered it; I did it as I thought it would be easier in the holidays to have it delivered.

It took me about an hour to clear up.  The children were left in the bath throughout and are now quite wrinkled.  The blackcurrant juice soaked into the wood of the kitchen cabinets a bit.  They're slightly pink.  My knees and the bottoms of my feet are deep purple.

For those of you who would like the recipe for blackcurrant cordial, what are you thinking???  Elderflower, yes, lemonade, yes, blackcurrant, no, no, no.  No.

48 comments:

  1. Oh dear it does look bad! I feel for you trying to clean it up! I will definitely be following your advice and will not been trying that recipe! Did the small amount you made taste good?
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh no hopefully it will all come out over time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh CJ this is awful, I hope all the stains soon fade.
    Jacquie x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh dear but look on the bright side you got a good post out of it. I can't believe that one of your first thoughts was to take a photo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The biggest boy remarked on exactly that as well.

      Delete
  5. That is quite an impressive spill.... but the effects of it seem disastrous!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh gosh - what a dilemma. I will add that to the lists of "NOT to do's"! Hope your cupboards get better in time!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my goodness. I think this is the most important tutorial ever written. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh how I hate accidents such as yours. I think I would of cried before doing the clean up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly I'm quite used to this sort of thing happening.

      Delete
  9. Oh.My.Goodness. Well. Hmmm. My hubby read your whole post to me laughing all the way through. The photo strikes fear in the heart.. ugh! Hope your body parts go back to normal color soon. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have been enjoying your words, life and humor for a bit now. I do have to tell you that you make me smile..wide as the sky, make me laugh, and yes, want to give you a huge thankful hug.
    I am old enough to be your gramma, I am young enough in heart to remember days such as this with two boys and a husband, brother-in-law making beer in the house. Whoops! on the rug and all over.
    Thank you so much for the glimpse into such a wonderful family. Truly.

    ReplyDelete
  11. HOLY GOODNESS FRIEND!!!!! I can only imagine how large that splat was! It reminds me of the time we were making ice cream sodas and when we opened the root beer it began to spray wildly all over the kitchen! We were all slipping in it unable to recap the darn bottle! I can so relate to this post friend and I pray that you all won't be purple for too long!!! You rock CJ!!! Wishing you a clean and wonderful Wednesday!!! Nicole xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my.. hope the stains come out eventually. I was thinking of making some blackcurrant cordial.. luckily for me though I have a proper straining bag and stand as I've made jelly in the past.
    I have to admit that Sue's comment about getting a photo first made me chuckle... is that wicked of me! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you. It's the last day of school and I worried it would drag but now I know I can just imagine cleaning THAT instead of working, the day will fly by.
    Hope the cabinet and carpet recover eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Did that whilst making quince jelly once, not nearly as messy as the time the damson gin exploded.

    By the way the citric acid is only necessary if you intend to keep your cordial for months and months.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh no!!! All that work, and your efforts were dashed, well splashed really! I feel so badly for you. I hope that you can get the carpet clean and get the remaining colour out of everything else in time. That vanish carpet stuff is pretty amazing for getting stains out if all else fails. Sit back and have a glass of something in the garden that is in no way blackcurrant related! xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whoops hardly does that sort of thing justice - I think the air would have been blue if it had happened here and I'd have stonmped off in a foul temper allowing a little more time for the stain to set in!! It eeminds me of the time my mother had dandelion and burdock cordial burst from its bottle all over everywhere - not purple but very sticky and how lucky that it was n't wasp time as we also had an accident (luckily in the garage not the kitchen) with a home made ginger beer plant and the wasps soon found that so that clearing it up was a nightmare. Maybe you should have made summer pudding or I have heard that you can freeze blackcurrants on the stalks and when frozen they all drop off but of course you'd still have to pick the stalks from the currants wouldn't you? You must have a good sense of humour and as you say you did give us all a post and a laugh (it's not us who had the mess!)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sorry sorry sorry but I was laughing out loud! Especially the 'wrinkled kids' part cracked me up :-) my kids stay in the tub forever each night, as it's the only part of the day that they allow me to sit and drink coffee while it's still hot :-) Hope the blackcurrant traces will be gone soon...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh my! That looks like some sort of mess for sure. Hope you are able to bleach out the rest of the stains and de-wrinkle the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness. I've got loads of blackcurrants and thought, oh good, this is something I could do with them. I think I'll give it a miss after seeing that photo. Hope you manage to get it all out of the wood in the cabinets and the carpet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Didn't make any elderflower cordial this year. I'm not too sure I want to risk having a go at blackcurrant cordial now. You'd never guess from looking at the finished cordial that it had been all over the kitchen floor.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh CJ, my heart goes out to you - do you laugh or cry? A bit of both is what I'd end up doing...Chrissie x

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh my goodness! We had a hook in the ceiling of our old house and it made a fairly big mess, swinging about and dripping, but no big splats. I hope it all clears up.

    Nina x

    ReplyDelete
  23. I thought this sort of stuff only happened to me!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have just been harvesting our blackcurrant hadn't thought of cordial perhaps it is better if I leave it that way! Does look good tho does it taste alright?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Is it wrong to have laughed very loudly, CJ?! God I hope the stains come out of, well, everything.
    I have a (slightly) similar tale of woe to cheer you up. It concerns my very first lasagne that I made for Marc. We had only been seeing each other for about six months, and it was all very casual but really I was thinking "I really, really like you a lot, but I'm far too cool to let you know about it." He happened to mention that lasagne was his favourite meal, but as a penniless phd student rarely made it. So I decided to make one for him. It was to be a defining act of love and adoration for this gorgeous boy I had met, and was quite smitten about. Everything went well, until the ta da moment of removing it from the oven to the table. I think that there must have been a crack in the dish, because it came apart in my hands, dropped to the floor and all over my feet. You can imagine the pain of boiling hot Italian food over my pinkies. I ended up stood in a very cold shower for about an hour, and then went to casualty to treat the burns.
    (Marc has since said that that was the moment he knew that I was the kind of idiot that he wanted to spend his life with. So it wasn't all bad).
    With much love and flash spray with bleach,
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Found you through a recommendation from Marigold Jam. Lovely blog:-) I felt for your blackcurrant disaster which was all too familiar.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh Goodness but that is a massive spill!

    ReplyDelete
  28. How annoying, and messy! Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Whatever you said, I bet it wasn't "Ooops"...

    ReplyDelete
  30. That's very impressive. At least you could see what to clear up so weren't constantly sticking to patches on the floor (on the bright side).

    ReplyDelete
  31. OH MY GOODNESS!! You poor thing! That is TERRIBLE! I bet that was the biggest pain to clean up. I would have just screamed. Thank for the advice, though. I will never, ever make anything with blackcurrants. Hope today is mess free:)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh no! I'd have been headed straight for the booze cabinet. I do love blackcurrants - even the smell of the leaves - but I think you may have put me off trying the cordial-making (we currently live in a rented house).
    I once did the same thing with a lovingly-made trifle on Christmas morning. My lovely vintage glass bowl smashed to smithereens and cream and custard between the floorboards. I locked myself in the bathroom with a glass of sherry and a beta blocker.
    Hope the pink fades in time...
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your dry sense of humour is just so refreshing :) I am sorry you had so much mess to clean up though. No blackcurrant cordial fo us I think.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for taking that photo. I do not feel alone now....

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh CJ, I have to say that that is exactly what would happen at my house. xo

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh bless your heart with that big mess. I love you and your blog so much because it is so real, we arer not living in a world that is perfect and this mess just sums that up.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sorry. Giggling. Can't seem to stop. It was the wrinkly children that set me off.

    Actually, could I add, in case the day comes when this incident is a distant memory, never store blackcurrant cordial, or anything similar, atop your kitchen wall cabinets. Like Su I have experienced exploding fruit gin, blueberry in my case ... a geyser of the stuff shot out of the bottle, bounced off the ceiling, and rained on the kitchen. Suffice to say we had to get the decorators in.

    ReplyDelete
  38. i was having a very pleasant read than GASPED OUT LOUD when i saw the smash. oh my lord. the staining! i would have burst into tears (i can be like that) and then called my mother, still sobbing.

    ReplyDelete
  39. UGH! This is hilarious and terrible. I'm sorry friend, but at least it's a good story and hopefully it's cleaned up now. I'll take your advice and not make this, although I have been known to make similar messes myself.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh no! What a disaster. I'll be sticking with jam and cassis, I think!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Three words, CJ: Lakeland Jelly Strainer. My tale involves rosehips, a muslin cloth and the swing-out towel arm over the bath; so far, so good. The drip bowl was on a wooden plank placed across the bath, (I had no stool to upturn); once the bowl was full, one more squeeze of the muslin bag and my leg dislodged the plank sending the bowl downwards and the contents upwards. One day I will redecorate. The jelly strainer is a recent addition to my kitchen armoury of gadgets but now I can fling together cordial like I'm channeling Betty Crocker. And bring on the jam making! Caro xx

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh dear, it reminds me of a similar disaster with elderberries. I nipped upstairs to the loo and came back to find purple flowing down the cooker and in all the grouting on the tiled floor - it's still dark despite scrubbing! Luckily there was still some left in the pan to make jam! x

    ReplyDelete