Thursday, August 6, 2009

New discovery

Went on a berry hunt today but was a little bit early for the blackberries. Had a chance to check on the local plum tree in the bush that we harvest from and it should be ready within the next week or two. Went to a different location to continue our hunt and instead found some other type of berry. Picked a few as well as some leaves so that we could identify them at home... turns out to be service berries, or Saskatoon berries!!! Edible and they were abundant. We plan to go to that location tomorrow to collect enough for jam and a bunch to dehydrate! Yay! When we went to check a final location for blackberries, we found instead a huge area full of plump rose hips. Should be the perfect harvesting spot come fall! So although we didn't find the berries we were looking for, it was a VERY successful outing.

Made our second batch of crock pickles yesterday. The first batch was so yummy that we ate it all within a week! This batch has garlic from the garden even. This time of the year makes me so happy! We have decided to make a family nature observation journal with dates that we harvest certain wild foods/garden veg and fruits as well as weather observation. Thought that it would help us keep track of the harvest, successes in preserving and help us to be more aware of natures rhythms. Worth a try! I am also starting a sketchbook of local plant identification and information... somewhere I was reading about a 100 species challenge. This should help solidify my local plant knowledge and force me out of my comfort zone of what I already know.


MamaLou said...

I'd love your crock pickle recipe!Ack, I have to ID myself, I like being anon!

villagemama said...

That is funny... I am glad you did. I could see that someone from our area was reading and then I slightly feel vulnerable and exposed! I am glad that it is you.
So into the bottom of a scalded crock or heavy glass jar ( I like the glass because you can watch it, although the brine goes slightly cloudy after a few days and doesnt look as pretty) and line it with a couple of grape leaves for crispness. throw in whatever pickling spices you like as well as a couple of heads of dill. Wash and put in your cukes ( make sure to knock off the blossom ends because they have an enzyme that makes the pickle go soft)Top it with moe dill and pour in a brine made with room temp water and kosher salt. I use a ratio of a little less than 1 tablespoon per cup of water. pour brine over cukes and top with another grape leaf. I use a trick myself because I don't have plates that fit in for a weight. I put a cup or two of brine into a ziplock bag and seal it. I stuff that into the jar top. I leave the level of the pickles at the wide part so that I have room to do this... this brings the level of the brine up so that it covers everything, as well as sealing everything up. Shamefully I still have saran around the house, I pop a square over the top and then cover it with a cloth. With this method I dont need to check on it every day or wipe white scum off of the plate. I leave it for 5 days or a week in the summer. It will bubble and smell yummy. Check the pickle for doneness and a translucent center. You can google it too if you havent done a lot of ferments and might be a little bit nervous that you might poison yourself!

MamaLou said...

Ok my kids love "REAL PICKLES" and gobbled them up today! The recipe worked great! We have pickles, lots and lots, come middle of the week and you can pick what you!

MamaLou said...

pickle growth slow down....try later in the week!!!