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Farmer's Market Treasures & Pickled Currants!

While at the farmer's market this past weekend, I ran into some wonderful treasures!! We arrived home with the scent of fresh, warm, soft pretzels still lingering on our breath and our bags stuffed with abundance- onions...purple, red and white fingerlings...prosciutto, smoked swiss and freshly baked red pepper focaccia from the Italian deli tucked inside the market...apples...fragrant basil, rosemary and thyme...and the fabulous little treasures that I don't find often- FIGS and Ruby Red CURRANTS! 
They're like sparkling little jewels...I was soooooo overjoyed!  The kiddos didn't remember ever having currants before.  So, they poised themselves...held a little bubble of exploding warmth...and popped it in!  Reaction....POW!  Tart, yet sweet.  I don't know if you can see it on their faces or not, but they liked them.  We ate about half of them straight-up!
The other half I decided to pickle and can.  I'm not sure if I actually did it right or not, because this was my first time trying to do anything with them besides make a jelly.  I used a recipe I found in Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters.  She actually says to pack the fruit into jars with self-sealing lids.  Are these different from normal canning jars (I'm still just getting comfortable with canning at home...branching out)?  Well, I used the normal method of canning and the currants puffed up...from the heat, I'm sure...which is what makes me wonder if self-sealing is different? Either way, they're gorgeous and I can hardly believe I have to wait 6 weeks to find out how it actually worked.  I'll keep you posted.  If nothing else, I'll have some fabulous currant vinegar!

Pickled Currants
from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters
I just did a small batch, ~1/4 of a recipe

4 c. red currants
3 c. white or red wine vinegar I used red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 allspice berry didn't quarter it, still used a whole one
2 cloves used one

Strip the currants off their stems-or leave them be; unstemmed, they make a pretty garnish as little branches of fruit.  Bring the vinegar, sugar, allspice, and cloves to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Let cool.  Pack the fruit into canning jarss with self-sealing lids prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Pour the cooled vinegar over the fruit and seal.  Let sit in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks before serving.
My other treasures I simply wanted eat warm and seedy and wrapped in salty prosciutto...with a little mint from my yard.  Perfection.

Have you run into anything unexpected and wonderful at your Farmer's Market or through a CSA or community garden lately?  What was it and what did you do with it....create or simply enjoy?

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