Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Paranormal Kitchen Activities - Week 1 Blackcurrant Jam

I love writing and the more I write, the more I love it. The characters in my head are allowed so much more freedom these days and many of the scenarios I dwell on don't actually make it to my books but they contribute to what I have learnt is "back story" or "world building.

In my latest paranormal short story - more about that another day - my heroine lives in a restricted environment, where she can only dream of her own passion of cooking, baking, creating. I won't spoil the storyline but I thought I would share my heroine's back story.

She has no name yet, but I hope by the time I investigate her world I may be inspired to name her. Or hopefully one of my readers will.

She stripped the canes bare, gently placing the black shiny fruit into her wicker basket. She'd heard it was a good idea to use an Afro comb, run it through the stems to pop the blackcurrants off, but she preferred to use her hands.

The cool shade of her house greeted her as she walked in through the side doorway.

Naked, Beau padded barefoot through her kitchen as she rinsed the blackcurrants in running water, tempted to flick its iciness at his bare ass.

 "Going somewhere?"

He stopped, backtracked to come and peer over her shoulder, then snagged a handful of blackcurrants from the colander and popped them into his mouth. His lips touched hers in a brief kiss before he screwed up his face and the acrid smell of raw blackcurrants hit her senses.

"What the f...?"

"Blackcurrants, not really something you want to eat raw."

He spat them into the bin beside the sink, grabbed a glass and filled it with water, sluicing his mouth out while she smiled. Served him right for pinching her food again. He was always sneaking a scoop of something.

"Tastes like cat's piss."

"Can't say I've ever tasted that."

She roamed her gaze over his body, tempted to distract him.

His warm fingers on her chin encouraged her to look at him, the glow in his eyes made her mouth water, nothing to do with the smell of the fruit.

"I'll add sugar, make it into a lovely fruity jam, you'll like it."

"As long as it doesn't taste like cat's p..."

She smiled, touched her lips to his.

"It won't, I promise."

"I'm meeting my brother, I'll see you later."


With a sleek move, he disappeared down the hall, out of the front door.

Van Morrison played low and sultry in the background singing of lovers and the dark end of the street. She added water and sugar to the large pan, poured in the blackcurrants and rejoiced that she lived at the bright side of the road.

Fascinated, she turned up the heat and watched while the mixture foamed and bubbled, filling the air with a soft juicy aroma nothing like the cat's piss Beau claimed he tasted, the rich colour changing to a bright fuschia pink.

Once it started a hard rolling boil, she squeezed a whole lemon into it, enjoying the feel of the juice drizzling out between her fingers.

She reached for the coffee pot, still warm, and poured herself a drink while she waited for the concoction to reach setting point. Removing a clean, cold saucer from the fridge, she used a metal spoon to drip a few drops onto it, then pushed it with her finger satisfied it formed an instant blob that wrinkled at her touch.

As it cooled, she did a quick spin around the kitchen to Brown Eyed Girl before she cleaned down the benches, washed up, then sterilised the jam jars to Moondance and placed them in the oven on a low heat. She decanted the mixture into a jug, removed the jars from the oven and filled them almost to the top with the still hot mixture, delighting in the soft sound of it pouring thick and glutinous into the jars.

With a gentle touch, she placed the waxed discs on the top of the jam, covered them with clean tea towel and left them to cool down completely. She'd put the jam jar covers on later.

She turned, a flash of movement caught her eye and she smiled as her husband walked naked into the room.

"Just in time."

With a quick flick, she removed her apron and opened her arms to let him walk into them.

The Recipe

Blackcurrant Jam

4lb Blackcurrants
3lb Sugar
1/2 pint water
Juice of 1 Lemon

Use a heavy bottom metal pan, metal spoons & approximately 10 sterilised jam jars.


  1. When I was growing up in the US, there was no such thing as blackcurrents. (Even now, my stubbornly American spell check flags the word!) Seems there was a fear that the vines were a vector for a blight that could impact the logging industry. So imagine my astonishment and joy at making their discovery when I moved to England. I simply can NOT get enough. Blackcurrant jam? Heaven. Blackcurrant flavored Skittles? Bring them on. Blackcurrant flavored anything? Hell, yeah.

    I have heard that a few US states are lifting the ban, and that they are being grown in a few places. So maybe, someday, I'll move back. But only if I get naked guys in my kitchen too.

  2. I had no idea you couldn't get blackcurrants in the U.S. and although I like other jams there is no competition when it comes to blackcurrant. Thanks Barb for dropping by, just wait until I give the recipe for cordials...


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