When we were in Quesnel this weekend I decided to pick a couple of buckets of black currants from Matt's newly established U-pick farm. He has some great little berry rakes that pick the berries way faster, however you get significantly more leaf and stem debris. Tim opted for hand picking. Matt and I had our buckets full by the time Tim had about a 1/3 of a bucket. We kept on raking and thought we'd helping him out by dumping our berries into his bucket.
Ooops. Our lazy picking methods now created more work for poor Tim who had been meticulously keeping his berries clean.
While we were picking, Matt was explaining the benefits of the currant, including the leaves, as an antioxidant and health promoter. Now, I don't know an antioxidant from cyanide but Tim was all excited, so I guess it's a good thing.
Anyway, the next morning I decided I'd start the process of making jam before my berries spoiled and I ended up with nothing but wasted time and dollars.
Looking at two buckets of berries with a high percentage of leaf and stem content my lazy tendencies caused me to think that if leaves and stems are healthy, why remove them. I'll just rinse them off, cook the whole darn lot and strain the juice and... Voila! I'll have antioxidant jelly.
I threw one bucket of berries into a large pot - leaves, stems and all.
Great concept. Not so great in reality. I ended up with a thick pulpy mass and I was only able to squeeze about 1/4 cup of juice through my straining cloth. I ended up having to press it all through my colander. By the end, I was purple stained up to my armpits, I had juice splashed all over the stove, both sinks were full of purple mess, splotches reaching up the to upper cabinets and across the floor but I had a bowl full of mush that will make a great jam/jelly hybrid that I'm sure will taste good and clean out my oxidants (or whatever they are supposed to do).
I decided that I'd just wash the leaves from the 2nd bucket before I started. It took all of 4 minutes.
Rather than make 2 batches of jam, my lazy tendencies decided I could do it all at once.
As I was dumping everything in my largest pot, I thought, "I should go downstairs and find my stock pot." But my lazy tendencies convinced me that I could have the jam made in the time it would take me to find the stock pot and wash the 3 years of dust off of it.
It took me longer to clean the boiled over burnt berries off the stove than it would have taken to find the stock pot. I think I came to the realization that if I wasn't so lazy, I'd probably only get half the exercise that I do get. Maybe being lazy ain't such a bad thing.
My 2 hour job had turned into a 5 hour one. But I have 25 jars of fabulous black currant jam. I carried it into the pantry to put it away and there sat my stock pot.. nice and clean, not 5 steps from my kitchen. I forgot I had just used it at the wedding.