Columbus Day = Time to pick the cranberries!

Columbus Day marks the date of a very enjoyable autumnal ritual of mine – picking wild cranberries.

Today was a gorgeous day for a slog through my favorite bog.

Panoramic view of a bog

Panoramic view of a bog

Closeup view of bog

Closeup view of bog

In particular, I was hoping to find the fruit of Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon).

First cranberry! (Large Cranberry = Vaccinium macrocarpon)

First cranberry!

Ripe cranberry ensconced in diversity of bog plantlife

Ripe cranberry ensconced in diversity of bog plantlife

My cran-apple lunch out on the bog

My cran-apple lunch out on the bog

This year, I actually found very few.  The hard freeze (especially in this lowland) during the peak bloom time of these plants clearly prevented many of them from bearing fruit.

Ripeness, size and quality of the cranberries I found

Ripeness, size and quality of the cranberries I found

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my outing and found enough to add to baked goodies later this fall and this coming winter.

Looking for some culinary inspiration with cranberries?  Take a peak at these suggestions.

Wild Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce, New England Style

Cranberry Mors

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice

Wild Cranberry Jelly

Cranberry Recipes: Create a Cranberry Feast

Cranberry-Wild Rice Bake

Cranberry-Wild Rice Stuffing

Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

Fresh Cranberry Desserts

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

Want to know more about wild cranberries?  Read this.

Happy trails!

A Time for Cranberries

Wild cranberries are ripening now!

Fruit of Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Fruit of Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

View a video regarding the nutritional and medicinal values of cranberries.

Recipes:

Cranberry Muffins
1 egg.
3/4 cup milk.
2 cups sifted flour. 4 teaspoons baking powder.
1/4 cup sugar.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
4 tablespoons melted butter or other fat.
1 cup cranberries.
Beat the egg slightly and add the milk. To the liquid mixture, add the sifted dry ingredients. Roll the berries in two or more tablespoons of sugar, and fold into the batter with the melted fat. Do not stir the mixture any more than necessary. Pour into greased muffin pans and bake in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F.) for about 30 minutes, or until brown. Serve hot.”
Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes Revised, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Home Economics, [Government Printing Office:Washington DC] 1931 (p. 79)

Cranberry Nut Bread [One loaf]
One cup cranberries, one cup sugar, three cups flour, four teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon salt, one-half cup coarsely chopped walnuts, grated rind one orange, one egg, one cup milk, two tablespoons melted butter. Put cranberries through food chopper and mix with one-fourth cup of sugar. Sift remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together and add nuts and orange rind. Beat egg slightly, combine with milk and melted butter and add to first mixture. Fold in cranberries. Bake in buttered bread pan in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about one hour.”
—“Healthful Breads Go Nutty in Fall Months,” Lowell Sun [MA], October 1, 1938 (p. 6)

Cranberry Nut Bread
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
Juice and grated rind of 1orange
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup cooked jellied cranberry sauce
Sift dry ingredients together. To the juice and rind of orange add boiling water to make 3/4 cup liquid. Add melted shortening and beaten egg. Mix with dry ingredients until just blended. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add chopped nuts. Carefully fold in cubes of cranberry sauce. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 325 degrees F. for about one hour or until done.”
—“Fruit Breads Give Sparkle to Daily Meals,” Oakland Tribune [CA], June 26. 1950 (p.15)

Cranberry-Nut Bread
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (one-half stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup chopped citron
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the soda to the butter and mix well. Gradually blend in the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the orange rind, nuts and citron. Add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice.
4. Put the cranberries through a food chopper, using the coarse blade. Stir into the dough.
5. Turn into a well-greased, lightly floured 9X5X3-inch loaf pan and bake one hour and twenty minutes. Cool. Yield: one loaf.”
—“Cranberries to the fore,” Craig Claiborne, New York Times, November 13, 1960 (p. SM108)

To create your own adult beverages using the cranberries you’ve picked, view this recipe to make cranberry simple syrup.  After doing so, view these simple drink recipes.  View another recipe for simple syrup and one for another adult beverage.  Lastly, view a recipe for a winter cranberry cocktail.

If you now feel inspired or are still looking for a creative recipe, peruse these additional 50 recipes.

Happy trails!