And now starring at Jam Camp: gooseberries!
I have a thing for vaguely British, underappreciated fruits and vegetables--quinces, rhubarb, black currants, and yes, gooseberries. Well, now I know why they're no stars here: the stems. They're in the currant family, which means, sharp little stems that are implanted into the fruit. You can't pull them off in one go as you would on a bunch of red currants; no, these are just about welded on. I got through about a pint of topping and tailing (taking off the stem and the wrinkled little bit of dried blossom on the other end) before I decided: jelly. So, into a pot go the still-stemmy gooseberries, with about an inch of water below. Brought to a boil, let them boil for a few minutes to soften, then mashed them up. Into a colander lined with damp cheesecloth to let the juice drip out overnight. While the mess won't win any beauty contests (it's a lumpy, greenish-pink, seed-flecked slime) it has a wonderful fragrance of roses and summer hay. And the juice is a lovely wild-rose pink.