Summer Jam

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by Woodwidow, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    I don't know if this berry is found in the eastern part of the country but out here on the coast it is extremely plentiful. It is called Salal. http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/gau_sha.html To pick it , you use scissors to pick the whole stem while you are in the woods and then use scissors to clip the individual berries off the stem at home.

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    Shadow's private patch of salal in our yard.

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    Shadow likes to pick salal herself so she will spend quite some time browsing in her patch.

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    After clipping the berries off the stems, you add water and bring the berries to a boil for about 10 mins. Note: salal juice stains everything and it is as dark as indigo ink.

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    I then put it through the food mill to strain out the skins, seeds and bits of stem.

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    We picked about 1/2 a 5 gallon pail and got 11 cups of juice out of it.

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    Salal has lots of pectin so after reading up, I added 1/2 c sugar for every cup of juice and a 1 tblsp of lemon juice to 4 cups of juice mixture. To boil it to jelled state, I worked with 4 cups at a time.

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    It doesn't take long before it jells and does it ever jell firm!
     
  2. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    I got 7 jelly jars, a mini jar (for Mom) and a sampler jar for the fridge out of this batch.

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    The branches of the young salal are very popular in florist arrangements and bouquets. In the spring, we have lots of pickers out in the woods harvesting the branches. The product is then shipped to a bigger center where it is de-bugged and washed and then it is shipped to florists all over the place including Europe. Next time you buy a bouquet of flowers for your honey, check out the greenery. You might have West Coast salal in the bouquet.
     
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  3. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam null

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    Are the berries very tart? I think I came across these yesterday.
     
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  4. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    If they have the slightest red tinge, they can be tart. Dark blue is ripest and are sweet - not sickening sweet but sweet enough not to need a lot of sugar added.
     
  5. Well Seasoned

    Well Seasoned Administrator

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    Looking delicious! Mmm
     
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  6. My IS heats my home

    My IS heats my home

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    Great pictorial wood! The picture by picture description was awesome. Just the way you were explaining what you were doing made me drool. Good stuff from summer. Thanks for sharing
     
  7. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    I am getting to cooking with a camera in the kitchen!!
     
  8. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    Interesting. No added pectin to set it? The low amount of added sugar is interesting two. Is there a common name for it like inkberry or something? I don't think we have those around here. The color is incredible. It looks like the blueberry jam I made this past weekend.

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    This batch yield about 6 jars too. A lot more sugar though.
     
  9. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    Great pictures too from your part of the world.
     
  10. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    Great looking jam, Jon. I got my hands on Pomona Pectin and when I do my blackberries and blueberries, I am going to use it. It doesn't jell on the sugar amount but on the calcium water you add to the fruit mixture. That way you can use as much or as little sweetener as you want or what ever sweetener you want such as honey, Splenda, Stevia, Sucanet etc.
    http://www.pomonapectin.com/recipes/

    I have only heard it called salal. It has lots of pectin in it so it was quite an experience boiling it to the jell stage. I think if I was making syrup, it wouldn't take much cooking to get a soft jell. Apparently it is also loaded with antioxidants and was used by the First Nations people a lot. They mashed and dried it into cakes which they soaked and used later in the winter.
     
  11. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    I read that sugar can help set jams and jellies. Some recipes call for more pectin if sugar is reduced or other sweeteners used.

    A quick net search puts salal berries in the Pacific Northwest it seems.

    I look forward to this winter when I can open a jar of jam and it will remind me of this summers harvest.
     
  12. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    I think if you go with the low sugar jams, you must boiling water bath them to seal them and then store in a cool place.

    yes, opening a jar of your own jam in winter does bring back summer memories.
     
  13. Trundle

    Trundle

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    I'm drooling right now. Heading out tomorrow for a little firewooding and hoping to stumble on a patch of huckleberrys while I'm at it. I make a mean carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that I then sprinkle hucks on top of. It's friggin delicious!
     
  14. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    It has been so dry that our huckleberries have been small and not very plentiful. Right now we are waiting (rather impatiently I might add) for the blackberries to come ripe.
     
  15. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    Well I tried boiling the salal for a shorter period of time and I got syrup. 4 cups of juice needs 2 cups of sugar, a tblsp of lemon juice and boil for 14 mins. to get jam. I then boiling water bath it for for 10 mins.

    The blackberries are coming on strong so Campinspecter has been doing lots of picking. Mostly I have been cleaning and freezing them but I made a batch of jam using Pomona Pectin. http://www.pomonapectin.com/ 4 cups of blackberry juice, 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and Pomona Pectin. Tastes like fresh blackberries.

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  16. metalcuttr

    metalcuttr

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    Glad I found this thread Woodwidow . We have a small patch of salal in our back yard south of Tacoma and more in the brush beyond the fence. It is everywhere as a understory plant in the forests. I have always heard of making jelly with it but never spent a lot of time looking into it. Your pictorial of the process very informative!
     
  17. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    The easiest way to 'pick it' is to take scissors or clippers with you. Clip off the whole branch and stick it in a bucket. When you get home, sit somewhere comfortable and clip each berry off its stem as close as you can to the berry. If you try to pull them off, you will squish the berry and juice gets everywhere.

    I was looking at the picture of Shadow's private patch and six years later it is about three times that size. Our lawn has little salal bushes all through it. Good thing they mow easy.