This morning, I woke up early. Not too early I’m lucky. This late in the pregnancy, I’m still sleeping through the night, without a hiccup. (Thank you, Little Bean.) Instead, this was somewhere after seven. The Chef slept, and I didn’t want to disturb him. So I tip-toed from the bedroom toward the kitchen, intending to make coffee.
Instead, the light in the backyard stopped me. Without a discernible spring this year, Seattle seemed to creep toward fullness and everything green. Here it was, early in the morning, and the entire backyard gleamed with light. It was the kind of light that made me want to forget the coffee and start doing laundry instead, just so I could hang it on the clothesline.
And then, through the gauzy golden sunlight, I spied something ruby jewel in color. Dozens of little globes, gliding out from the green. The red currants had finally blossomed into fruit, the fruit had finally burgeoned, and the burgeoning fruits were now vibrant red. The red currants were ready.
The birds were dive bombing the bushes. I knew there wouldn’t be many left soon.
Spontaneously, I grabbed a metal bowl and walked slowly outside. (I may be sleeping, but there isn’t much moving fast these days.) With the warm air on my belly (none of my t-shirts cover the entire prodigious belly anymore), I moved toward the bushes. I parted the leaves and spotted dozens of little clusters, waiting to be picked.
I had to restrain myself from plucking them all from the vine. Some of them needed further ripening.
In the morning sun, the currants tasted warm and sweet, with a little tang of sourness at the back of the tongue. (Could it be true? That I actually tasted a tiny flash of horseradish?) They were wonderfully unusual, entirely present, there.
When the Chef woke up, I led him first to the kitchen, to show him the bowl full of red currants from our backyard.
Here’s my dilemma. I’ve never done anything with red currants before. Certainly, we can simply eat them. But it feels like we need a recipe, some mixing and melding in celebration of this morning.
So, what is your favorite way to work with red currants?