I hate wasting food. However, four hours before you're leaving for a trip isn't exactly when you want to start a massive refrigerator cleanout project. Especially when the project involves pulling out your pairing knife and pitting the many pints of cherries you'd been hoarding for the last few weeks. And yet there I was at seven in the morning this past Saturday, paring knife in hand, fingers and t-shirt stained with cherry juice, digging out pits and wondering why I had bought so many cherries in the first place and why there were so many leftover and why on earth hadn't I invested in a cherry pitter or at least planned things so that I wasn't now rushing around like a maniac. And just when I had removed that last pit and was about to cheer because I still had plenty of time to pack my bags, I saw the pint of gooseberries. They had been hiding behind the cherries and obviously also needed to be dealt with before I left. And that meant removing the stem, one by one, from the top of each.
After I removed what felt like a hundred gooseberry stems, I decided to make jam. The gooseberries went into a pot with some of the cherries, some sugar and a vanilla bean. While everything bubbled away on the stove, I packed my bags and took a shower and even had time for a cup of coffee. No fruit was wasted, and no train or plane was missed.
Ingredients for ¾ cup of jam:
Make the Cherry Gooseberry Jam:
Add all ingredients to a pot and cook over medium heat for about an hour, stirring periodically so that the bottom of the pot doesn't burn. The jam will be done when the fruit has broken down and has a thick consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool before removing the vanilla bean. Store in the refrigerator or can in a jar.