www.ediblemontereybay.com 61 Wild berry picking—especially when combined with a picnic in a beautiful place—is one of the great simple adventures found throughout the world. One of my favorite wild berry-picking memories was in summer in Norway. We picked wild blueberries and raspberries near a farm we were living on and then ate them with fresh cream from the Jersey cow that night. Berries and cream is still to this day one of my favorite desserts of all time! If you’re able to find and pick enough berries to preserve for later, however, you’ll be glad you did: Like dry-farmed tomatoes, berries left to grow without watering have an intense, concentrated flavor that really pops when made into jam. Here in the Monterey Bay area, strawberries, blackberries, huckleberries and thimbleberries all grow wild, often near small streams when you can find them, and all will work for the recipe below. Just use common sense and, if you’re not an expert at wild food identification yourself, bring one along—or at least pack a good wild food guidebook, like The Flavors of Home by Margit Roos-Collins. (Never consume a wild plant without being certain of its identity and that it is edible.) Then pack a picnic and let the memories begin! Jordan Champagne is the co-owner and founder of Happy Girl Kitchen Co. She has a passion for preserving the local, organic harvest and loves sharing her secrets at the workshops she teaches across the region. Wild Berry Jam Courtesy Jordan Champagne, Happy Girl Kitchen Co., Pacific Grove Makes 2 cups Wild berries are usually smaller than cultivated ones, so I have scaled the recipe down so that you do not need to harvest so many. Wild berries are also usually more flavorful and drier than cultivated berries so you can add less sugar, and the cooking time usually is shorter. 1 pound wild berries (it may take hours to harvest so enjoy the picking, not just the pie, as they say!) 1/3 cup sugar Splash fresh lemon juice Place the berries in a small pot with a thick bottom so that the jam will not scorch. Add the sugar and lemon juice and cook over a high heat so that it comes to a rolling boil. For such a small batch, it will likely only cook for 10–15 minutes. You may do the gel test to see when it is ready and then jar it and pop in the refrigerator. This jam will store for one month in the fridge.
edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015
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