Cowgirl Up on

Monday, August 18, 2008

One Last Experiment

I wasn’t able to track down any blackberries or huckleberries this past weekend, much to my dismay. I missed them by about a month probably. It’s just too hot over in Mason county to get any decent berries in mid-August. The search was “fruitful” none-the-less!

I came back from my very short walk with a very large amount of Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium and Mahonia nervosa) berries! A rather large bucketful in fact. And de-stemming Oregon grape berries is so much easier than currants! I had it done, with the help of one of my aunts, in less than an hour! I haven’t weighed the berries, but a one gallon zipper bag is full and sitting in the freezer awaiting it’s destined recipe(s).

While out on my search for berries I always find myself admiring how unspoiled certain areas on the forested hillsides are. The Oregon grape bushes were thriving Under the shade of the Douglas fir, madrona, shore pine and western hemlock, as well as the salal and many other plants. One that frequently catches my eye over in that area is a shrub that has bright orange fruits this time of year. At other times it has adorable flowers. And the leaves are distinctive. The last time I identified it I didn’t lock it very well into my memory. This time I will as it will be posted here for all of you to see, as well as for me to refer back to in the future!

Smith’s Fairy Bells/Lanterns (Disporum smithii (Hook.) or Prosartes menziesii) supposedly do have an edible fruit, but I have deiced that I am not going to sample it until I have a large quantity in front of me at one time. Each bush doesn’t produce much fruit so far as I can tell. I do hope to get some growing here in the treed area of our yard. It reminds me of native low-growing plant trillium that we have here in the Pacific northwest. My very wilted specimen:

Stumble Upon Toolbar


The W.O.W. factor said...

I love, love, love blackbrries! The little tiny ones mostly found in loggd off Mason & GH county! Used to search them out religiously! Love your pix of the Hydrangea...reminds me of my Grandma's place.
~You asked.."Did you precook the salsa or put the pico de gallo in the jar and then it only cooked when in the processor? Did you pressure process or only boiling water bath process?"
*No to precook, fresh into the jars.
*Here, I have stove 'issues' so I pressure porocess. Prefer water bath so if I ever get a new stove, I'll go back

Latigo Liz said...

I wish that hydrangea was here. It was one of the more intense ones I have seen lately.

Thanks for the salsa info. I am known as a salsa queen in my circle of family and friends. I just hadn’t actually taken a stab at canning my salsas...yet. Now I will!

I am still on the hunt for blackberries, but may just resort to using the Himalayan and others here around the house so I don't have to drive anywhere!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I have a great recipe for Mahonia Jelly. It uses raw apple cider and sugar for gelling. Very good and I don't like jelly.

Latigo Liz said...

Would love to see your recipe!