Tuesday, 11 March 2014

it takes little to make me happy (7)

Yesterday evening, I pretended it was summer. I felt summery and happy despite the chill and the wintery darkness outside.

Over the weekend, I was excavating the freezer in a desperate search for ice cubes for my G&T. Ice cubes there were none but I found some interesting treasure that I had buried in the freezer in July last year: several bags of beautiful redcurrants. After a further search, this time more successfully, for empty jars, I knew I had to make redcurrant jelly. This is my second favourite toast spread, only topped by quince jelly, which I make when my poor little quince tree produces fruit. I have not been lucky for two years running, twice there were violent storms during blossom and the when the skies cleared, the blossom was gone. Maybe this year.

Redcurrant jelly is a no fuss jelly, it always sets because of the high pectin content of the berries. I am not very patient and it only takes about 15 minutes of rapid boiling before set point is reached. Jellies and jams that take longer to set are risky business because I tend to wander of to do something else quickly - only remembering the cooking process when a) all the boiled jam is on the hob and floor or b) the jam is burnt.

I love redcurrant jelly on a toasted bagel with melted salted butter.

Other moments of happiness:
  1. A couple of weeks ago, I won a pair of mittens in Kristie's give-away over at North of 49. The mittens arrived in the mail yesterday and I am really happy. They are perfect for the dry and coldish weather we are enjoying just now. They kept my hands toasty on a bike ride earlier today.
  2. It was dry enough to hang the washing out for the first time this year. Sleeping in outdoor dried sheets is a simple but wonderful pleasure.
  3. I planted 16 lily of the valley root thingies ( I don't know what they might be called). Too late to bloom for this year I think but they were good value and there will be another spring next year. We used to have a big patch of them but the guys who replaced our fence were super careless and completely obliterated the plants. 
  4. Annie skipped off to enjoy her first residential school trip in an outdoor activities centre. She'll be away until Friday. Don't get me wrong, it is not her being a way for 5 days but her growing up to be an independent young "woman".
  5. We spent the afternoon in the play park, happily playing (the wee ones) and chatting (me) without feeling cold and/or wet.
  6. And lastly: I really enjoyed your comments on my last post, thank you all. I have replied to most comments but not all in the comments section (yet).
Life is pretty low key at the moment, I keep busy staying on top of the housework at home, studying and I am still applying for jobs as and when they are advertised (which is pretty rarely in my area of work). Today, another rejection landed in my inbox but I try to shove the disappointment into one of my darkest least accessibly memory drawers. Best to focus on the happy moments, even it is not always easy!

I am hoping for another amazing spring day tomorrow! Enjoy your week. Cx


  1. I have put freshly laundered and air dried bedding on my bed this evening. I cannot wait to go up those appleas and pears. I like these posts, Christina. It is the small that has the biggest impact.

    Leanne xx

  2. You have a great attitude, Christina. The right job will come. I love salted butter and can't see why they make it any other way. If I use unsalted butter on bread (never at home, I'd never buy it), I always add a little salt. I know, so unhealthy, but I adore my salted butter.

  3. I love hanging the washing outside...the smell of sheets and clothes is so fresh :) Keeping focussed on the little happy things will hopefully lead to the big happy things. I know the right role is out there just waiting for your input Christina. (btw that bagel loos fab...I love butter!) (and jam!!)

  4. Great that you found the berries and made your favourite jam, that bagel looks lovely and very yummy. Lilly of the Valley is so pretty, you will enjoy the blooms next spring I'm sure. I spent an afternoon at the park on Tuesday, the sun was shining and the dog had a good run whilst we enjoyed the spring flowers nestled under the trees.

  5. The red currant jelly looks so good! And there is nothing better than crawling into sheets that have been dried on a clothesline in the fresh air. I'm so glad the mittens arrived! :-)

  6. It's been wonderful to hang the washing outside this week, and go out without a coat. It was 16.5° here today! Glorious. Long may it last. I tend to think of redcurrant jelly as something to go with meat and cheese, rather than on toast, but it looks and sounds delicious your way. x

  7. Red currant jelly sounds amazing.


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