Partridge Berry Picking

Picking Partridge Berries

We left on saturday morning to spend the weekend with our friends, at their cabin, in Lower Island Cove, Hopefully, we would pick some partridge berries.

I had spoken to my friend earlier that week and he had told me that the berries were getting soft and were picked over. We love everything that can be made with partridge berries.  I had alredy ordered two gallons from a friend.

We arrived, at the cabinat 12 noon and after a quick lunch we went to the berry pick’n grounds. To my friends surprise, we picked over six gallons between us. The berries, in the area that we had gone, were ripened and not soft. See photo.

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Our friends prefer to make jam right away, instead of freezing their berries.  So on friday and saturday night they made 16 bottles of jam.

They were using 16 oz and 32 oz mason jars.

This is a useful chart Link for  mason jars.

We prefer to make a couple of mason jars of jam as needed and keep the rest of the berries frozen.

View from above Lower Island Cove.

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As mentioned, we had ordered two morwe gallons, from a friend. They were 12.50 a gallon. We now have 4 gallons in the deep freeze.

Lately, we have been making enough jam to last a week or so and placing it in a plastic container in the refrigerator. We use about two cups of berries. We add about two soup spoons of water and enough sugar to our taste. The boiling berries are crushed with a potato masher until we get the consistency and the taste that we both like. Not too sweet and not too tart.

We have partridge berry jam every morning with toast. Sometimes we add a dollop of cream.

 

 

Dogberries

Dogberries

When I was young and living in Creston, on The Burin Peninsula, we picked dogberries and not catberries(see explanation below).  Really, they are mountain ash but we didn’t know that. Apparently they are or were called dogwood trees in some areas of Newfoundland. In other parts of the world they are referred to as rowan trees and rowan berries.

Our parents told us, as children, that there were two varieties, one was a darker red berry which we called dogberries and the lighter orange was catberries. We could eat the dark berries but avoid the lighter ones.

Dogberries, Sept 17,2015. Taken at our daughter’s in Con Bay South, Newfoundland. Lot’s of berries this year.

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As kids, we would go back in the woods, pick the berries and eat them.  If my memory is right, they were sour and bitter.  They tasted better after the first frost. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t eat them, however; we ate them, as mentioned, after the first frost. I don’t believe we digested large quantities.

I recall visiting my friend one evening (I was about 16 years old) and he gave me a glass of his father’s dogberry wine.  It tasted pretty good. I don’t recall the effect it had?

A few days ago, I asked some friends what they called them and nobody was familiar with catberries. To them, all were dogberries.

I checked google and there is no reference to catberries so it must have been a localized distinction.

Dogberry trees are plentiful here in Newfoundland Labrador.

Click on the following picture to visit nlnature for more information.

Dogberries

 

Roy Payne’s Dogberry wine song and words. 

Dogberry Jelly

Here is a dogberry jelly recipe I found online. Click anywhere on green text to visit the site.

Sterilize mason jars. My wife says this recipe is similar to her Red Currant Recipe.  We made Red Currant Jelly last week. Long process especially picking the red currants.

Boil 1 quart of dog berries covered with water until berries are soft. Mash berries while cooking. When soft, cool mixture. Strain through a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Measure juice into saucepan. For every 1 cup of dog berries, add 3/4 cup sugar. Boil berry juice without sugar added for 15 minutes. Add the sugar (3/4 to 1) and boil until syrupy….(a drop of mixture dropped on a plate will turn to a gel. Pour into sterilized jars and apply lids.

Rowan Berry is another name for Dogberries or Mountain Ash Berries.

This is an online recipe with  a link to the site. Click anywhere in the recipe.

Rowan Berry Jelly Recipe
Makes about 3 cups

 

Continue reading Dogberries

Stale Crackers

Stale Crackers

Crackers, especially Purity, are one of my favorite snacks or to have with my breakfast or lunch. Stale crackers were usually laid aside for a base for onion pies. A few days ago I decided to try placing a stale cracker in the toaster to see if it would crisp and refresh them. It worked but the cracker was hard to get out of the toaster.

If it works in the toaster, then it should work in the oven. I placed a few crackers on a baking sheet and set the rack on the higher level and set the broiler to low. Eureka, within a minute or so, I had crispy crackers. There was no stale taste either.

You should get the same results in a toaster oven or a micowave. Note: some crackers may be too old and stale to crisp. If they smell bad throw them out.

Please feel free to comment.

 

The following are some helpful links to show you how to crisp chips. The process is similar to the above, however more detailed.

How to crisp stale crackers and chips

How to freshen crackers in a microwave

BUILA