November 17, 2009

Making the Bitter Sweet

Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry? Let me tell you, you haven’t missed out on anything. There’s nothing to recommend it. You wouldn’t want to grab a handful to nibble while watching a movie. They’re not a tasty treat.

But add a little sugar, some chopped orange and walnuts, raisins, and port, cook it for awhile and magic happens. Put it in jars and you’ve got deliciousness to last all year. Today I canned 24 four ounce jars of Cranberry Port Conserve. I can’t say it’s my best effort, but it’s pretty good.

Making jams or conserves is a meditation for me. I breathe and pay attention to details, one step at a time, everything in its own time. No hurry, no wishing it might be different. It just is.

Most often jam is made from sweet fruit; it’s not a stretch to make it edible. A cranberry requires something more, a willingness to see what it might become with a little imagination.

Cranberry Port Conserve

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup port
½ cup finely chopped, peeled orange
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Combine cranberries, sugar, and port – bring to a full boil over high heat and cook, uncovered, until berries pop.

Add orange and raisins. Return to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until mixture forms a light gel, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in nuts.

Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.


Bella Rum said...

It's so pretty. I love the color of cranberries.

My mother used to can. I've made peach jam, and I've only done that a couple of times. I keep saying I'm going to do it again. Dad wanted me to make preserves with the figs from his fig trees, but we really didn't have enough. He loves all of these homemade things. So do I.

gkgirl said...

i have never tried
anything like that
but it sure looks tasty!!

Christine said...

You are just the one who is able to can cranberries because you have a great imagination. Your pictures are beautiful! You take an ordinary scene and make in wonderful.
Keep up the good work on your blog!