The Non Bramble Berries

Barberries

W> BARBERRY JUICE Use cranberry juice recipe. blueberries: These need an acidic soil. If they have that, you have a wonderful berry that may bear fruit the first year and for the next 50, but if they don't have that soil they will die and that's all there is to it. St. Lawrence Nurseries offers numerous varieties of half-high blueberries. You can prune blueberries only very lightly. Blueberries don't really have "canes," just twigs. In all but the far north, do what judicious cutting you must in late winter. You'll find lots more resources in ATTRAs "Organic Blueberry Production" at www.attra.org/attra-pub/blueberry.html.

BLUEBERRY SAUCE Start with I c. blueberries. Put half the blueberries and Ai c. water into a pan. Simmer 3 minutes. Add I t cornstarch and stir thoroughly. Continue cook ing, stirring constantly, until thick Then add the other half of the berries and cook 3 minutes more. Add 2 T. lemon juice.

<i> BLUEBERRY SYRUP Combine I c. fresh (or frozen or canned) blueberries, Ai c. water, and A c. sugar, and bring to a boil. Crush berries. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes more. Serve this syrup hot

Drying. Dry blueberries out of doors 2 sunny days in a row, then in the oven at low heat until they are rubbery and look like raisins.

Cranberries

<i> CRANBERRY JUICE Cook I lb. cranberries in I qt. water until soft Crush and drain through cheesecloth for a nice clear juice.

<i> CRANBERRY COCKTAIL Grind 4 c. cranberries in your food chopper. Add I c. sugar to 6 c. water. Add the ground cranberries and their juice and boil all for 5 minutes. Cool and strain. Add I c. orange juice and the juice of I lemon. Chill.

CRANBERRY ICE Heat I qt cranberries and 2 c. water together, boiling until the cranberries are soft Run through a sieve. Add 2 c. brown sugar to puree. Heat again, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the juice of I orange. Remove from heat. Cool. Pour into tray and freeze firm. Remove to chilled bowl and beat until light Return to tray and finish freezing without stirring. Serve at slush stage.

<i> CRANBERRY KETCHUP Wash and pick over 2 A lb. cranberries. Cover with vinegar and cook until they burst. Force through a sieve. Add 22A3 c. sugar, I T. cinnamon, and I t ground cloves. Return to heat and simmer until thick Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.

<i> SWEET CRANBERRY "RAISINS" Saute cranberries in brown sugar and butter until the skins break Add a little honey and stir. The secret is the broken skin that allows the sweetness from the brown sugar and honey to get inside the cranberry. Then dehydrate. It takes a lot of cranberries to make a little bag of cranberry raisins. currants: This small fruit went through a time of trouble in the 1920s when bushes were uprooted and became very rare as a result. Certain varieties of currants and gooseberries were supposed to carry white-pine blister rust, a disease that destroyed white pine trees. Many states passed laws banning currants and gooseberries, and seed catalogs stopped carrying them. Now currants are making a comeback. Legal restrictions on them are being lifted, and increasing numbers of nurseries are carrying them again.

Currants

That's good news, because currants and gooseberries are among the hardiest of the berries and are important to folks who live on mountainsides. Currants are a firm berry as compared to the blackberry. They are easy to propagate by stem cuttings, and I know people who have raised them from seed. Take cuttings about 8 inches long anytime during the fall, winter, or very early spring. They won't do quite as well if you start them after growth has got going in the spring. They do well in a clay soil. It's still a good idea not to plant currants if there are white pines (pines with needles growing in clusters of 5) within 300 yards. And check your local laws to make sure you aren't in an area where it's still illegal to plant them. Drying. Put your currants into a large bowl and add some flour (about Vi c. per 1 lb. of currants). Mix the flour with the currants and then rub the currants between your hands to get the stems off. After the stems are off, put the currants in a colander and let water stream through them until you have nothing left but currants. Then scald them a half minute, and chill by drenching again with cold water. Drain. Spread on pie dishes, trays, and so on, and put out in the sun or on your screen or into the oven to dry. They are like little raisins when done.

ci> CURRANT JUICE Choose fully ripe, bright red currants. Wash in cold water and remove stems. Crush the currants and warm to 165°F to start the flow of juice. Don't boil. Press the hot fruit in a jelly bag to extract juice. Sweeten to taste.

W> BLACK CURRANT PUNCH To each cup of currant juice add 2 c. weak green tea. Sweeten to taste. Serve in glasses half filled with chopped ice and garnish with a sprig of mint

<i> CURRANT SYRUP Boil 3 c. sugar with 4 c. water until the sugar is dissolved, then add 4 c. cooked, strained currant juice and the juice of 6 lemons. Cool and bottle. This is nice to add color to other drinks.

CURRANT KETCHUP Combine 4 lb. ripe currants, 2 c. vinegar, I T. cinnamon, I t. salt 3'A c. sugar, I T. cloves, and I t. pepper. Mix, boil down to a thick sauce, and bottle. gooseberries: These went through the same thing as currants and became very uncommon. Berry gooseberries grow on a low berry-type bush. For "Chinese gooseberries," see "Kiwi" in the vines section. Regular gooseberries are another tiny berry-type fruit.

Harvesting. When gooseberries are green they are still underripe. They turn kind of purple red at the moment of ripeness. There is a wide variety of sizes, from tiny on up. In my experience they either have to be picked before the berries get too ripe or you have to cope with worms in them. It's the same as with peas. The insects "sting" them— make black spots on the outside, which, if left long enough, hatch into worms. If you have a sturdy stomach you can use the wormy gooseberries. I set them on to cook in plenty of water. As the berries heat, the worms rise to the top and can be skimmed off.

ci> GOOSEBERRY SAUCE Stew 'A lb. gooseberries in A c. water until soft Rub through a sieve. Return to pan. Add sweetening to taste and I T. butter if you are planning to serve it as a relish with roast goose, duck, or mutton.

GOOSEBERRY FOOL Simmer green gooseberries, starting with cold water, until tender, adding a little salt (optional)

to preserve the color. Strain and puree. Put the puree on the heat with sugar to taste and cook until sugar is dissolved. To serve, mix with cream.

GOOSEBERRY JAM Cook 4A2 c. gooseberries in 2 T. water over medium low heat until yellow. Add 2 c. sugar. Bring to a boil again and boil 5 minutes. Pour in jars and seal. You'll get 2 pt. jam.

GOOSEBERRY PIE Cook 3 c. fresh gooseberries just long enough so they pop. Add IA c. sugar, A t ground nutmeg, and 4 T. flour. Pour onto a prepared unbaked piecrust. Put second crust on and seal well to keep from boiling over. Put slits on top. Brush top with cream and sprinkle sugar on it Bake about 45 minutes at 425°F, or until it looks cooked. Good with plain cream.

huckleberries: These are cousins of the blueberry—a small, firm berry.

Canning. These can nicely. Use basic canned berry recipe. If you can huckleberries, make sure your jars are sealed and you wash the outsides because they tend to give off an odor that other foods pick up.

W> BASIC HUCKLEBERRY SAUCE You'll need I c. huckleberries, A c. sugar, I t. water, 2 T. light corn syrup, 2 T. berry juice, I T. cornstarch, and 2 t. lemon juice. Place berries in a pan. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Blend berry juice and cornstarch and add to berries, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Chill. Good for jelly roll, open-face pie, cooked pie shell, or topping for ice cream.

ci> HUCKLEBERRY PIE Make dough for a 2-crust pie. Boil, drain, and rinse 2 c. huckleberries, then cook again with a very little water until tender. Add sweetening to taste and 2 T. flour. Bake in a 425 °F oven.

ci> HUCKLEBERRY CAKE Barbara Stone, Stites, ID, wrote me: "I don't care for huckleberries raw but in a cake is something else. Separate 3 eggs. Beat the whites until stiff and set aside. Beat the egg yolks and blend with A4 cup milk Blend in I cup sugar and A cup butter or other shortening. Sift IA cups flour with I teaspoon baking powder, t. nutmeg, A t. cinnamon and add to egg yolk mixture. The batter will be unusually stiff. Put berries into flat dish and roll in flour. Up to this point an electric beater can be used, but now the berries are folded into the batter with a spoon. Then fold in the beaten egg whites. Bake in a greased and floured [8-inch square] pan. A loaf pan is better so the batter doesn't spread too thin. Sprinkle the entire top of the cake with a thin coating of sugar. This will form a glaze. No frosting is necessary Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) until done. Depending on the oven it usually takes 50-60 minutes."

SALAL: This Pacific Coast native, Gaultheria shallon, is an evergreen shrub, 2-6 feet high, and can thrive in either sun or shade. It can grow from mid-California to British Columbia. It needs moist soil.

Planting. Plant seeds, cuttings, or divisions. You can get plants from Raintree Nursery, 391 Butts Rd, Morton, WA 98356.

Harvesting. Pick the small bluish-black berries in the fall when the whole cluster has finished ripening. You can substitute in any blueberry recipe or use to make a jelly.

<i> SALAL JELLY You'll need I c. salal juice, I c. tart apple juice, and I c. sugar. (See "Jelly-Making" in Chapter 7.) Sarvis Berries or Saskatoon Berries: Eaten fresh, these are bland and flavorless, but put them in pancakes. When the heat hits them, the flavor comes out. Or use them as a filler with other berries. Or add lots of grated orange and orange juice to add flavor. strawberries: These plants want lots of moisture and a sort of shady location, like on the shady side of your house or under an orchard. Next edition I'm going to say more about them, but no time now. Krohne Plant Farms is a mail-order strawberry specialist: 616-424-5423; fax 616424-3126; 65295 CR 342, Hartford, MI 49057. If you're interested in growing them for sale, you'll find much more info in "Strawberries: Organic and IPM Options" at www. attra.org/attra-pub/strawberry.html.

Preserving. Imogene says, "Just let them boil up once, then pour into jars and seal." That's Imogene's way and she cans umpteen quarts every summer. To can strawberries the regular way, pack them hot, cover with hot juice, and process 15 minutes. I freeze them. Dried strawberries are delicious tasting, despite the fact that they turn very dark and look terrible.

Preserving. Imogene says, "Just let them boil up once, then pour into jars and seal." That's Imogene's way and she cans umpteen quarts every summer. To can strawberries the regular way, pack them hot, cover with hot juice, and process 15 minutes. I freeze them. Dried strawberries are delicious tasting, despite the fact that they turn very dark and look terrible.

STRAWBERRY JUICE Use fully ripe berries. Wash in cold water. Drain. Remove anything green. Crush and strain the juice through a jelly bag.

STRAWBERRY PUNCH Mash I qt strawberries. Add the juice of I lemon, 2 T. orange juice, and 6 c. water, and let the mixture stand 3 hours. Strain. Sweeten to taste. Serve with ice.

<i> STRAWBERRY-PINEAPPLE JUICE Combine 2 c. strawberry juice, I c. pineapple juice, 4 c. water, Vi c. lemon juice, and A c. honey. Mix well and serve with ice.

<i> OVERNIGHT STRAWBERRY PRESERVES Wash and hull firm, choice berries. Combine 2 c. sugar with I c. water and boil until you can spin a thread when you hold a spoon up that has been dipped into the liquid. Now gently add 4 c. strawberries, c. lemon juice, and 2 c. more sugar. Boil 12 minutes without stirring. If you get a scum, skim it off Pour the mixture out into a shallow pan and let set 24 hours. Put into jars cold and seal with paraffin. The berries keep their shape and color.

<Í> MODERN PRESERVES Prepare 4 half-pint jars. Heat I c. of your juice to boiling. Then pour it over !4 c. fresh herb (or I AiT. dried herb) or 2 T. whole spice. Let soak for half hour. Strain it into a nonaluminum pan. Add 2 c. more of juice, 2 T. vinegar, and 3 c. sugar, mix, and boil (stirring constantly). Now mix in Ai bottle pectin, and boil another minute, still stirring. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring at this point if you want it Pour immediately into sterilized jelly glasses. Adjust lids. Process 5 minutes.

OLD-TIME PRESERVES Prepare jars to hold 10 cups. Coarsely chop 6 lb. tart apples, put into nonaluminum pan, add just enough water to cover, and cook a half an hour, or to softness. Then pour into jelly bag over bowl and let it drain overnight Next day, measure the juice. Per 2Ai c. juice, add 2 c. sugar. Stir sugar into solution over low heat Add herbs or spices, or a mixture of them, tied into a porous bag and simmer until jelling point is reached. Remove bag and pour into jars.

<i> STRAWBERRY SHERBET Soften I envelope unflavored gelatin in I c. orange juice in a small pan. Combine I qt. washed, hulled, and crushed strawberries with Ai c. sugar, and then stir in gelatin-orange-juice mixture. Pour into your freezer tray. Freeze, stirring once or twice, until almost firm. Remove to chilled bowl, break up with a fork and then beat until smooth but not melted. Fold in 2 stiffly beaten egg whites, blend, and return to refrigerator. Freeze, stirring once in a while with a fork, until firm.

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