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.