Sunday, November 8, 2009

What Exactly is Currant Pie?

Red currants...don't they look delicious? If anyone knows how to grow these delightful little berries in Arizona, you'll have to let me know.


I grew up in Michigan, and it seems like everything under the sun grew in our backyard. At least 3 varieties of apples, plus peaches, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, innumerable veggies, and of course, maybe, currants.

Mostly I have painful memories of all this largesse. Picking peas, putting them in a sack. Shelling peas, and putting them in another sack. Washing the peas, and putting them in yet another sack, bound for the freezer. Actually, it wasn't so bad. I put a pound of peas in my stomach for every pint I put in the sack, and to this day I only eat raw peas. I detest cooked peas. I was brainwashed at an early age. Only the freshest for me, please.

I also remember picking raspberries and eating them out of my hand, sometimes getting a stinkbug in the mix but not realizing it until it had already been squished between my molars, which is so GROSS to remember that I can hardly ever think about it.

I have vivid memories of picking (and eating) pretty much every single thing we grew. Except currants. And that's so funny, because I remember currant pie as being my absolute favorite kind of pie. A kind of pie that I haven't tasted since I moved to AZ when I was 12, but that I dream about every third Thursday from 1:00-1:20 a.m. (which totally explains the drool on my pillow). Currant pie, to me, is childhood, easy-growing gardens, family and not caring how many calories are in a slice.

I named my blog after this elusive memory. Where did it come from? Dad? Did we grow currants in Michigan? If so, why don't I remember picking them? Unlike every other edibility we had, I only remember eating them. Maybe I've blotted the work from my memory so I don't taint the deliciousness of it all. Kind of like writing. Until the moment I sit down to do it, I'm pretty sure there isn't a shred of even a single idea in my head, and I dread the work of it. Then I sit down, and poof! I find the work is delicious to me, and the rest is all forgotten.

4 comments:

The Crider Clan said...

Currants probably tasted extremely good after eating a stink bug or two! If I ever find currants...I will make you a pie. If you ever find currants, bring them to me and I will make you a pie! If I make you a pie...can I taste it? I've never had currant pie!

Connie said...

I vaguely remember hearing about currants in my lifetime. Maybe not... I've never seen those before! Sad.
They do look good- but they look like they would taste like tomatoes. What exactly do they taste like?
Tony detests Peas too- what did your mom do?! Probably overcooked them till they turned that gross dull greenish gray color? Yeah, those are no good. They must be bright green with a little butter and salt- and then they are delightful!

Richard said...

Currants (be still my heart) are a tart berry, a little bigger than a pencil eraser, mostly skin and seeds and some pulp & juice. Current pie is tart like ruhbarb pie (be still my heart. They grow in clumps on the bushes. We had two bushes that produced about enough for 2 pies a year. And with mom being the best pie maker in the universe we had it goooooooood.

Signe said...

We did have a couple of currant bushes. As you looked at the garden they were on the right back side--kind of by the raspberries. I remember picking them. I grew them in Utah when I lived in a house. I love them too! And Dad is right--mom made the best currant pie!