Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Monday, March 8, 2010


Black currants seem quite a different beast, metaphorically speaking, from red ones.

The peculiar taste component of the currant, which is far away and in the distant hazy background of the flashy but mild-mannered red currant, comes to the fore in the black. In the bushy plant itself the flavor is so strong that sometimes in walking by and brushing the leaves you can catch the scent in the air. Last year shortly after the post-harvest trimming, when I made a trip back to that southeast-yard compost pile where the trimmings went, the scent seemed so strong that I took from those old canes the youngest leaves from at or near the tips. When drying them, the tangy, resin-resonant, un-berryish forwardness of this flavor spread from the dehydrator in the kitchen -- we have a couple electric dehydrators -- and through the house. Now and then a few pinches of dried leaf go into a teapot of evening mint, where the black currant makes itself known with its air, or aroma, of forthright self-importance. If this tincture has medicinal qualities I have no idea. It certainly should -- although then it might be insufferable in its presumptions.

Cheers ...

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