A bowlful of rhubarb jelly and a handful of my own, freshly picked, blackcurrants —-
And some rhubarb on the side.
I don’t know if I will like eating the thyme flowers and the bay leaves; on their own, maybe, but not with a spoonful of jelly. Ice cream is more likely to be the accompaniment. However, I do know that I will like the rhubarb jelly. It is one of my all time favourite desserts, particularly if the rhubarb is slightly tart.
When I make a red jelly, I am immediately taken back, in my head, to my paternal grandmother’s kitchen. I am standing next to her at the kitchen bench watching her turn a packet of jelly crystals into a small bowl of jelly. No fruit, just jelly. It seems to me that she leaves it to set on the bench top. ( Were our houses really so cold back then? ) In the evening, we will have it with custard, sometimes a baked custard, cream and ice cream. It’s all delicious.
The bay leaves remind me of the custards she prepared. In her younger days she used to put laurel leaves in the custard. Not in my time, but I have heard the stories.
And, before I indulge in jelly, a special note to my parents, who do not share my taste for jelly, but love blackcurrants; I only have a handful of blackcurrants to decorate the jelly because I ate another handful whilst I was picking them. They are sweet and juicy enough to eat straight off the bush. No sugar required! You would be pleased.