Sunday, 1 July 2012

We Should Cocoa - the July Challenge

Bad cop is back! We've had two easy and straightforward challenges from two wonderful guest hosts and I feel it's time for something a bit more challenging. If you haven't done so already, do take a look at Lucy's two coffee round-ups for June - yes there were so many entries she had to do it in two parts - part one, part two. I have a hideously awful significant birthday this month, so if I have to suffer, I don't see why the rest of you shouldn't too! Actually, I did throw it open to discussion on Twitter - easy or challenging? The overwhelming response was to go for challenging. So here goes: blackcurrants.

Down at my mother's yesterday, I noticed that the blackcurrants on her 45 year old bushes, which are still going strong, are nearly ready. So for me blackcurrants epitomise my birthday month, July. Surprisingly, since starting this blog, I have only posted one recipe and it was hardly an unqualified success - chocolate and blackcurrant roulade. So time to raise the bar ..........

If you don't grow any or know someone you can wrest some off, never fear, there are is always blackcurrant jam, cassis, blackcurrant syrup, Ribena even. For a reminder of the rules, please check out the We Should Cocoa page - it's back to the e-mail again this month.

PS - for those overseas where blackcurrants don't grow, I am happy to accept another local berry (preferably a dark one)!

43 comments:

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    1. Thanks Kath - not quite there yet -one week to go :(

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  2. evil... although I have an amazing recipe that uses cassis and i'm sure I could squeeze chocolate in there somewhere!

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    1. Dom, I have complete faith that you can do anything!

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  3. oh and happy scary birthday... he he he

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  4. I'm quite looking forward to a challenge with blackcurrants! The cogs are already whirring... Have a good birthday, it won't be as bad as you think!

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    1. Thanks Janine - glad there is one approval ;-)

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  5. Happy Birthday Choclette, whoops almost typed something else there. Wish I had known sooner, so I could have sent a card.

    Adding the even to the dairy now.

    Jac
    x

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    1. Thanks Jac, that's very kind. And apologies, once again I forgot about the diary - oops!

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  6. I just feel at a loss - had to google blackcurrants to even check what they look like but I may be able to find some jam - hope you have a great birthday

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    1. Oh no Johanna, I didn't realise they don't have blackcurrants in Australia - if it's a struggle, you could always use blueberries instead. I know they are not the same but they are the same colour!!! Or don't you have those either?

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    2. blueberries are quite easy to find - thought I might find blackberries in the freezer at the supermarket but they aren't easy to find either - but are blueberries more similar than blackberries?

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  7. Oooh how lovely, I love blackcurrants, we grew tons of them when I was a littlun - lovely memories of my grandmother's garden and the old green enamel stove with the huge knobbly taps come flooding back....
    And we have just come back from a visit to Clumber Park and the fabulous walled vegetable garden and guess what they were selling at the gate.....blackcurrants !!

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    1. Fantastic Jean, food is just great for nostalgia and bringing back memories. I take it you bought some of the blackcurrants?

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    2. I did indeed, with the WSC challenge in mind.....

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  8. Thing about hideously significant birthdays is that once they are past...there are more to come. Embrace and enjoy! Blackcurrants it is then. Ours are pathetic this year, but I am swapping some rhubarb with a colleague who will give me some when her's are ripe :) Happy Birthday when it comes.

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    1. Well true Janice AND none can be as bad as my 30th - that was awful! I'm hoping I can get my hands on some of my mother's blackcurrants before the birds get to them.

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  9. Quite fancy this one (couldn't do coffee as can't bear the stuff so am happier).

    Have a very lovely birthday this month (I think I know how old you are but won't let on...)..and here's to many more happy healthy years to come xxxxx

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    1. Thanks very much Sue and pleased to know there is someone else I can enjoy having a cup of tea with - excellent :)

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  10. Happy birthday in advance!! Age is just a number ;) As for the challenge .... the only thing I can think of at the moment is my dreaded nemesis so I shall have to come up with something else! Hope I have time to join in, apologies in advance if not.

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    1. Thank you. It's true, but that number just keeps getting bigger - eek! Don't worry if you don't have time, but it will be lovely to see what you get up to if you do :)

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  11. It's my birthday this month too! And as a present to myself there will be NO chocolate and coffee concoctions made at our house! Blackcurrants, eh? That is very tricksy of you. Hmmmmm...

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    1. Surely you haven't had enough of chocolate and coffee already Lucy - where's your staying power? Yes tricksy it is, I'm beginning to regret the decision now.

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  12. I was intrigued by your comment on my coffee cookies, so I'm very pleasantly relieved to see this one! Hopefully I'll have time to enter but my summer is going too quickly. It's my birthday later on this month, but the significant one is looming.... Mmm, blackcurrants. I guess Ribena is an option for most in the UK - apparently >90% of british blackcurrants go into making it - there's an interesting entry on Wikipedia - Ribena is from the Latin Ribes Nigrum - blackcurrants. Well, I've learnt something new!

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    1. Now you just have to do a post C, just so you can get those facts in ;-) Good to hear you are another July baby :)

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  13. Brilliant theme! The thinking cap is on.... and Happy Birthday for later in the month! x

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    1. Thanks Kate, glad you like it :)

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  14. I slightly regret saying go for challenging now - I can think of a few recipes that could use blackcurrants, but I haven't eaten them in well over 10 years since drinking blackcurrant squash caused a massive rash all over my face! Maybe now's the time to face my fear...

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    1. Hungryhinny, I hope that was spun, because it's a good one! Black currants don't grow here in New Zealand, so I'll have to get super creative!

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    2. Well I can quite see why you might not want to eat blackcurrants again - maybe just try one and see what happens :-S

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    3. Juliet, New Zealand claim they grow the most intensely flavoured blackcurrants in the world!!!

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  15. My mum used to have a blackcurrant tree so this one is a nostalgic one for me too. Very much hope to join in :-)

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    1. I hope so too Ren, you always come up with such lovely things - no pressure there ;-)

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  16. oooh happy birthday for July! got to get my thinking cap on now...!

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    1. Thank you WLM - look forward to seeing what comes out of your thinking cap :)

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  17. What a great time of year to have a birthday in the summer. Super idea - I'll spread the word for our macaron lovers - would make a great combo! 45 year blackcurrant bush and still going strong. Sounds like I need your Mum's green finger tips.

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    1. JIll, if only it was summer. It's getting a bit desperate now and ALL of the activities I've planned for my birthday are outdoor ones! Would love to have some macarons included.

      I think my mother's technique is more one of neglect than care. She bungs on some sort of garden compost once a year and lets them get on with it.

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  18. GREAT challenge and yes, I DO have three blackcurrant bushes, so this will be fun! And, happy belated birthday too! Karen

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  19. NOT belated birthday, doh, it's my age and I am OVER the hill and far away....

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  20. I love the challenge! Blackcurrants are a very good choice and I am hoping to be able to find some either at the allotment or from my neighbour. Happy Birthday! x

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  21. Another July 'baby' here! This is quite a challenge, as I would never put chocolate and blackcurrants together naturally. I love challenges, though!

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  22. I love blackcurrent. I'm on it!

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