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Friday, 9 September 2016

Preserves

It is that time of year again. Huge zucchinis are available at the market and our favourite pickles involve zucchinis and other vegetables. I make the supply for the next year when these vegetables are at their peak and the cheapest they will be all year; these days, I am busy with preserves.

My interest in preserves comes from my Newfoundland heritage. Every fall, Newfoundland women around the bays and coves made jams, pickles, and jellies. Moose, caught in the fall, was preserved to make delicious stews for the family during the winter months. Open a bottle of moose meat and before long you had a delicious meal. 

On our recent visit to Macphail Woods in eastern Prince Edward Island, I spotted a chokecherry tree. I couldn't resist trying some of the ruby berries.

 

It brought me back to my youth, when we picked every berry imaginable and Mom made jam or jelly for the next year. The cherry jelly was delicious. No fruit today could live up to my memories of that chokecherry jelly.

Then there were raspberries and blueberries of course. 

 

Today there are u-picks on Prince Edward Island for these fruits and picking is so easy.

 

In my youth, we picked in the woods around Mount Pearl, my home town, or Maddox Cove where my grandparents lived. The raspberries were the hardest to pick because the plants loved plowed over areas where it was difficult to walk. Besides, bees and wasps loved these areas and more than once we had to deal with stings or tipped over berries due to our effort to escape the stinging creatures. The travails associated with raspberries made the jam all the more tasty.

The Newfoundland berries, bakeapples

 

and partridgeberries 

 


were highly sought after as well. They are known as cloudberries and lingonberries in other parts of the world. Mom spoke of the partidgeberries which didn't need to be jammed since they could be kept in a barrel over the winter. She and her family picked sacks of them every September along the rocky shoreline.

 

The importance of these preserves cannot be over estimated. The jams and jellies were important sources of vitamin C during the winter months. Berry preserves were important to the health of the family.

Today, our family doesn't eat much jam. However, I make pickles and salsa, savoury treats instead. I completed the third batch of pickles over the long weekend and the recipe is below. We don't buy pickles and hate to run out of these preserves before a new batch is made every September.


Now, to finish the year's supply of salsa...

25 comments:

  1. Some of these berries I've never heard of before, but they look delicious :)

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    1. The cloudberries and lingonberries are also in Scandanavia.

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  2. I envy you your ability to preserve pickles and salsa. It makes a difference to come from a family tradition of preserving. And I simply love your description of the fruit you picked. I never heard of cloudberries or lingonberries. Now I've got to try some. :-)

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    1. They are different berries but tasty. Most Newfoundlanders love them.

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  3. Hubby makes the best blackberry freezer jam I have ever eaten and I am not a big jam fan. We find canning too hot and too messy, but my mother used to put up tons of preserves.

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    1. The older generations did a lot of preserving. I like the products and enjoy making them.

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  4. I love jams! I guess I love fruit more than veggies anyway! I will look at your zucchini recipe because that is one plant that is fruitful! Andrea

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    1. The pickles are so good. I enjoy making the pickles and salsa so much. The tasty products are a nice bonus.

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  5. I grew up learning how to preserve, and canning myself, for the many years I had a garden, or garden access. Oh, the raspberries! I planted them at the house, just to let me granddaughters find out how a warm, hot raspberry tasted.

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    1. The wild raspberries are so hard to pick but are delicious. I made some raspberry jam this year just to eat now. So tasty. The smell of raspberry jam is lovely too!

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  6. Oh the memories. We went berry picking often when we were small. Foraging for them. Jams, preserves, pies. The blackberries were probably the best, but snakes loved to rest under the prickly bushes...

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  7. There weren't many blackberries where we lived. Several people have commented about them. When I've had them it wasn't in jam. It sounds delicious!

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  8. Love this post----could actually be my own blog!!!!!
    I am right in the preserving mode too.
    I am going to try your mustard pickles recipe---looks delicious!!!

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  9. I planted a Chokecherry out back and the catbirds get all the berries. Beauitful while they last. Beautiful photos.

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  10. The birds were loving the chokecherries at Macphail Woods too.

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  11. I love the flavor of both cloudberry and lingonberry jam. I like them with some Finnish pancake (pannukakku.) I got a few zucchinis from a friend but need to find out how to preserve them.

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  12. I love the jams on pancakes too. Cloudberry syrup is especially good for pancakes!

    Zucchini makes really good cake and muffing too, Angela.

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  13. I am a jam person. I usually make lots of strawberry jam but none this year due to hip surgery. And I always make marmalade in February when the seville oranges are available in the grocery stores.

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    1. Let's hope by February you will feel well enough for those beautiful Sevilles!

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  14. Thank you for visiting my blog, Eleanor!

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  15. Sounds very good to me! Mom always had shelves of preserves in the basement.

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  16. wow now i can understand fully your love for these preserves dear Marie!

    what beautiful memories about your youth and i know that no matter how delicious we cook or make food but food made by moms is always BEST!!!

    my mom used to make jam with apple mostly and either i did it sometimes .
    in our area there were berries but i don't remember if some one used them in food though we as kids used to pick up and eat lot

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