It never ceases to amaze me the available natural bounty one can find in your own city, especially a city with such a lush river valley system, such as Edmonton.
We spent the day at Rundle Park, the kids rode their bikes and we watched them being the goofs that they are. We then headed over our favorite bridge towards Gold Bar, as there is a lovely little place you can easily head down to the riverbank.
The walk itself is gorgeous, everything is just barely starting to turn color, making it that lovely between time when you still have leaves on the trees and plants that are alive, but the colors are getting brilliant.
I had noticed the cranberries on the way down to the river, noted where they were with plans of picking them on the way back.
I then proceeded to make my children eat all the popcorn in the Ziploc bag I had in order to have something to put them in.
Poor, suffering children.
And those poor suffering children were in those bushes picking cranberries with mom faster than you could say “city kids.”
In about 10 minutes, we got 4 pounds of cranberries. Four flipping pounds. I filled the large Ziploc, despite the children “helping” me.
The beauty of these is that they hang in clusters, which not only makes them easier to pinch off but in doing so, lessens the amount of crushed berries. You pinch them off at the top of the cluster, leaving anywhere from 10-20 berries hanging together to be cleaned gently at home.
Now, ripe highbush cranberries are lower in pectin than they are early in the season, so to make the jelly I want, I am going to have to use pectin in my jelly recipe.
I am totally ok with that.
Obviously, we know what I am going to be doing this week. Cleaning and then making these beauties into jelly.
I can taste it on my Thanksgiving turkey already.
As with all berry or mushroom picking, make sure you know 100% what you are picking!
Luckily these are very easy to identify and hard to mix up with any other native plant, but here's what they look like: