"Do you like Blackberry Syrup" asks Replacement Chef. "I love it, it is my favourite drink from Lebanon's memories - mixing Blackberry syrup with water", I reply. "Let's turn them into syrup" says Replacement Chef; and all the blackberries went into a pot.
"Easy recipe. Turn on the stove and smash them until there is no more pulp to smash" (they reduce to half the original volume).
"How sweet do you like them?", "Sweet" I say as we add sugar (I used 3 cups of sugar to a 5L pot full of before-smashed blackberries) and keep mixing. See how the colour starts to change?
"Now we need something to separate the pulp from the juice", says the ingenious Replacement Chef as an apparatus of a bowl, paper clips and cheese cloth is created.
The syrup is now boiling and turning into a Frankenstein experiment colouring - fascinating.
"Time to separate pulp from juice". The cheese cloth lets a lot through but the remaining pulp is still packed with valuable freshly picked blackberry juice.
A series of instructions were given about taking off this and that clip, turning the cloth this side and that, moving the cloth away from the juice (a.k.a wrap the remaining pulp in the cheese cloth and squeeze the living juice out of them).
Now return the juice to the stove to reduce on low heat, stirring constantly. It reduces very fast.
A major mathematical discussion followed - my opinion, "reduce by 30%"; Replacement Chef, "reduce by 50%". Replacement Chef's 50% meant waking up to juice reduced to jelly.
Nothing that a cup of water and 3 minutes of simmering does not solve. And now I have a delicious blackberry syrup that is used on ice-cream (and as base for Lebanese style blackberry juice drink).
Thank you Replacement Chef.