The Antidote

The Goods:

  • 8 strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 12 red currants
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 shot cointreau
  • 1/2 cup ginger ale
  • thin lime slices, for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add strawberries, red currants, mint, lime, ginger, and sugar and muddle until the fruit is nearly pureed.
  1. Add ice, vodka and cointreau and stir.
  2. 3. Pour into two glasses and top with ginger ale. Serve with lime wheel garnish.

                                    Red Currant Jelly

Yields about 1-1/2 pints by Kevin West from Saving the Season

The season for red currants is fleeting, but you can make it last by making Kevin West’s sweet-tart jelly.

2 lb. fresh red currants

1 cup water

3 cups sugar

Rinse the currants, and place them in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes; then press them a time or two with a potato masher. Strain this pectin stock through a jelly bag for 15 minutes. You should have about 3 cups of juice. If you have substantially more or less, adjust the amount of sugar accordingly to maintain a ratio of 1 cup juice to I cup sugar.

While the jelly bag drips, spread the sugar on a cookie sheet, and warm it in a 225°F oven for 15 minutes.

Bring the pectin stock to a boil in a preserving pan, and add the sugar. Reduce to the gel point, 6 to 8 minutes. Working fast, skim any foam and, before it starts to cool, ladle the hot jelly into three prepared 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. If any foam or bubbles remain, allow the jars to cool for a minute or two, until a light skin forms on the surface of the jelly. The skin will trap the impurities, and you can scoop it out. Seal the jars, and process them in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Excerpted from SAVING THE SEASON by Kevin West. Copyright  2013 by Kevin West. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Red Currant Chutney

Adapted slightly from Fresh Juice.  Makes about 1 1/2 c.

  • 2 c. red currants, washed and stemmed
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS whole mustard seeds
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your heat tolerance
  1. In a small saucepan, bring currants, sugar, vinegar, and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until currants begin to fall apart, about 10-15 minutes.  Careful, this is a recipe that’s likely to boil over (and make a mess!), so leave your lid somewhat ajar or give it a stir frequently
  2. Strain red currant mixture through a fine sieve, catching the juice in a bowl.  Press down on the currant solids to extract as much juice as possible.  Discard the solids, reserve the juice.
  3. Rinse out the saucepan and return to stove.  Heat vegetable oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, and salt, and fry until mustard seeds begin to pop, about one minute.  Warning, the hot mustard seeds can pop quite forcefully and splatter oil, so work quickly and carefully, removing pot from heat if need be.
  4. Add the onion to the spices, and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Add currant juice and cayenne pepper to pot, and stir.  Bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.  Let cool and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Note: This wasn’t written as a canning recipe, so I’m not sure if it has enough sugar/acid/other preserving elements to work, but if that’s your thing and you can figure out the safe ratios, I think it could work really well!  If not, I’m sure you’ll be able to use this up pretty quickly.

Fresh Blackberry Pie Recipe

 TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 35 min. + cooling YIELD:6-8 servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)


  • In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, tapioca and salt. Add 1 cup blackberries; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cook and stir over medium heat until berries burst and mixture comes to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat; gently stir in remaining berries.
  • Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim pastry even with edge of plate. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top.
  • Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings.


Spiced Blueberry Jammin’

Total Time: 35 min

Prep: 5 min

Cook: 30 min

Yield: 6 (8-ounce) jars


  • Preserving Hardware:
  • Large stockpot or canning kettle
  • Jar rack or cake cooling rack (for holding filled jars off the floor of the pot
  • 6 (8-ounce) Mason style preserving jars with lids and bands
  • Wide mouth canning funnel (technically optional, practically indispensable)
  • Canning tongs (specially made for snatching jars in and out of very hot situations
  • Large (8-ounce) ladle
  • Paper towels or dishtowels
  • Magnetized “lid-wand” or magnet tool from hardware store (optional, but how else you gonna get hold of those darned lids)
  • Jam Hardware:
  • Medium-large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Hand masher
  • Nutmeg grater (optional)
  • Jam Software:
  • 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen blueberries
  • One (1 3/4-ounce) packet dry pectin
  • 1/4 teaspoon star anise, ground fine
  • 10 to 20 grinds fresh nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon pre-ground)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) cider vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Add Checked Items To Grocery List


  • For the jam: Place blueberries in saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle with pectin followed by the anise, nutmeg, lemon juice and vinegar. Once liquid starts to gather in bottom of pan, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly and boil gently for five minutes occasionally mashing mixture. Mash in sugar, add the water and return to a boil for 1 minute. You just made jam. Cool, jar, refrigerate and enjoy within 2 weeks. Or, move to the preserving phase.
  • Preserving the jam: Thoroughly wash all hardware in hot soapy water. Then pile everything (excluding the jar lids) into the pot. Cover with hot water by at least 1-inch and bring to a boil and maintain for 10 full minutes to sterilize. Turn off the heat, wait 5 minutes then add the lids (waiting will insure that the sealing compound does not melt). Leave all hardware in the pot until you’re ready to can.
  • Remove the ladle, tongs, funnel and other tools from the pot, (careful please, it’s hot in there) to a clean towel or paper towels. Using the jar tongs, remove and drain the jars, placing them on the towel/paper towel surface. (Avoid rock or metal surfaces which could result in thermal shock and breakage.)
  • Place the funnel in the first jar (pick it up by the ring, avoiding the sterile interior.) Use the ladle to fill each jar just to the bottom of the funnel, about 1/3-inch from the bottom of the jar threads. This “headspace” is necessary for the jars to seal during processing.
  • Wipe the jar rims with a moist paper towel, checking for any cracks or irregularities as you go. Use the magnetized device of your choice to position lids on each jar. Screw the rings on finger tight. (Remember, the rings don’t seal the jars they only hold the lids in place. Heat will drive out the headspace air, which when cooled will create a vacuum, thus sealing the jars)
  • Return the jars to the pot being certain that they don’t touch the bottom of the pot or each other. (If you don’t have a jar rack, try a round cake rack, or metal mesh basket. Even a folded kitchen towel on the pot bottom will do in a pinch.) Add additional water if necessary to cover the jars by at least an inch, and bring to a hard boil over high heat according to the table below. (Be sure not to start your timer until a true boil is reached. The headroom air may bubble out of the jars before a boil is reached. Don’t be fooled.)
  • Processing times: Within 1,000 feet of sea level: 5 minutes 1,000 – 3,000 feet above sea level: 10 minutes 3,001- 6,000 feet above sea level: 15 minutes 6,000 – 8,000 feet above sea level: 20 minutes Above 8,000 feet: wait until you’re back down at base camp.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

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