Monday, September 20, 2010

Cranberry Picking

We've been picking cranberries on our property this past week. We've got a couple gallons so far and I'm hoping to get several more. Last year I learned that if I dip the berries into a simmering honey syrup for a minute before dehydrating, the end result is a glossy dried cranberry that still has some body to it, whereas previously when I just dunked them in hot water, they were dull and papery when dried. I could never have too many dried cranberries on the shelf. I will also freeze a couple gallons for muffins and breads. I've been thinking of making a fresh cranberry, plant and root tincture to prevent and remedy infections, bladder infections come to mind. Also I juiced some cranberries and apples recently, added a little honey and had a tasty cranberry drink. I've noticed that they keep fresh in the fridge at least until Thanksgiving and almost till Christmas, so I'll be sure to keep some around for Thanksgiving recipes that call for fresh cranberries.
Birch trees in all their autumn glory. This photo and the one below were taken by Noah.

This past week has also found us making and canning applesauce, planting garlic, pulling, picking and harvesting all the tender crops; tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, beans and onions. Our hallway is piled high with boxes of green tomatoes - a hundred and thirty pounds of green tomatoes that will gradually ripen, providing us with fresh tomatoes through November. I'm also thinking fried green tomatoes, green tomato ginger preserves and green tomato chutney are all in our near future.

All that is left in the garden are carrots, beets, leeks, peas, a few scallions, radishes, kale, flowers and lots of cold hardy greens that we've been ignoring, endive, escarole, radiccio, purslane and arugula.

Last night we ate the tastiest pork ribs I've ever had. My brother and I were discussing how the season is almost done and how we are almost feeling prepared for winter. Pig and chickens in the freezer, picking the last of the berries, Dustin has finished hauling all the hay for the winter, just have the garden to put away.. and the ducks, and the turkey... so I guess there is still a lot to do, but we are getting closer each day.


Anonymous said...

Will you please post your recipe for the honey syrup? How long do you dip the cranberries into it before drying them? It sounds wonderful. Thanks.

farmer said...

I love being able to pick our fresh cranberries as well, they are so good.
We have two bogs about 2 acres worth.
I always have to wait until Thanksgiving for a good hard frost, but they are superb with dinner.
Thanks for the tip on the dried cranberries, definitely be trying that!!

Emily said...

I couldn't find the recipe I used last year so I ended up putting two cups of honey in and then enough water, about eight cups, to make dipping easy. I brought the liquid to a boil and stirred making sure the honey was dissolved and then turned it down to a simmer. I dunked the berries using a fine mesh strainer, for twenty to forty seconds, just till they start to make popping noises.

Annie said...

Thanks for sharing the cranberry drying information. Cranberries are my very favorite berry. I usually just freeze them for muffins, cranberry tea (more of a hot juice drink) and cranberry bread. I'll give this a try.