Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Time to get Jamming!!

~ brewing salal ~
Or, as the case may be with salal berries - time to get making jelly! The salal berries are ripening a few weeks early this year so I'm working quickly to make room in the berry freezer for those days where I can pick as many as I can while they are in prime picking condition...

Tonight I threw a pot of whole berries into a large pot with some water & boiled them down for straining. I leave the pulpy mess in the jelly bag overnight to get as much juice to drip down & out as possible.

The other pot is my first batch of salal jelly for the season. If you've not tasted salal berries or the jelly, I do encourage you to do so! Probably one of my most favorite berry flavours out there & rather difficult to describe. Sort of like nutty grapes - which, now that I say it like that, doesn't sound too appealing! Hey - more for me!

I've also got a couple large batches of salal-rosemary red wine vinegar marinating in the pantry. This vinegar is amazing in a berry vinaigrette salad dressing & is one of my staples throughout the winter.

If I'm lucky & get out there this weekend - I just might be able to pick enough berries to do a large batch of wine over the winter too. It's been a couple years since I've made salal wine so I think I'll work extra hard to do that this year.

The wonderful thing about harvesting salal is that they grow wild all over the place out here! I don't have to dedicate space in the gardens & bother with maintaining, feeding, pruning or fending off birds. Free berries that get me off my property & out for a walk about town - also a fun chance to encounter people who've never tasted a salal berry before & had no idea they could be eaten. Sharing knowledge with the public about the wild berries out here is a great way to get people curious about what they see when they are out here. So much to learn! Might as well have a snack while you are at it!

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