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Wild High-bush Cranberry Jelly – New School

12.16.07
Back in mid-September we were picking high-bush cranberries, as you may recall. We could have easily picked 10 times the amount, but I’ve become cautious about overdoing anything in the fall, as I tend to get over-ambitious, then get seriously tired of all the foraging, garden harvest, hunting, butchering, cleaning, packing, freezing, etc. I’m starting to choose my battles. But I made the wrong call on this one. Maryann commented on the post during the peak of berry season:

They will probably freeze nicely for a few months. Get picking! :)”

Did we? Noooo. So now I sit, wishing I had listened and picked more. The jelly turned out fantastic. I would now be very pleased to have a few dozen additional jars of this lovely jelly. Live and learn.

My mom and I [mostly my mom] made the jelly, and we had a chance to talk about how my grandmother Viviane took great pride in the clarity of her cranberry jelly. She used a jelly bag – which I remember as a kid – never pressing the berries, and making an ultra-clear ‘extra virgin’ sophisticated jelly. Next year I’m picking loads more, and my grandma’s jelly bag is coming out. Glad my mom stashed it away. We’re gonna make it up old-school.

3 Responses

  1. S says:

    Don’t forget those other wild foods you enjoy which rely on the berries as a huge part of their food source. Their habitats are disappearing to accommodate our lifestyles. From what’s left we should only take a little. Even native people do not take huge amounts.

  2. S – agreed. It’s a good point re: wild food as a real source of food for people. I think there’s a place for wild foods being farmed, but think we’re a long way off from that yet.

  3. S. says:

    I’m happy to have found your blog.

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