Saturday, 2 May 2009

Last of the Saskatoons

In today's oatmeal are the last of the saskatoons (aka service berries) I picked from our acreage last summer. I froze a bunch of them, and then a few weeks later in the summer I dried some too. The ones in the picture are the last of the frozen ones - I used up the dried ones long ago. This year I think I will dry most of them instead, because:
  1. It is really easy to do (i.e., spread on cookie sheets and leave on the counter for a few days)
  2. They take up less storage space that way (they shrink to half their size)
  3. It uses no extra energy to store them, and
  4. They are amazingly delicious that way!
They become like little raisins or currants, much sweeter than the original fruit. They are so good in oatmeal or any cereal, cold or hot, and also just a nice snack on their own. The fresh berries are a lot like blueberries, and are delicious in baking or on ice-cream, or just picked right off the bush. Mmm....sun-warmed berries...mmm.

Because I loved these so much, I splurged and bought a special berry picking thingy so I can harvest even more saskatoons this coming summer. Then maybe I will have enough to last me right until August, when the next crop is ready!

15 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

really drying them is that easy? Could I dry other berries that way? Like blueberries or raspberries?

Very fun! I also love frozen blueberries. My parents picked a whole bunch in a few wild fields around home (I think dad went a little blueberry crazy haha) and gave a bunch to me. When they were JUST frozen they tasted like candy!

Theresa said...

Drying small berries like Saskatoons really is that easy! You could also leave them on cookie sheets in a car in the sun - that's how I dried some chard last year, it worked really well. Raspberries are a lot more watery - it's probably better to dry them at hotter than room temperature, in the sun or in the car in the sun, or somewhere else that gets quite warm. I haven't tried that though, I'm just hypothesizing ...you may want to google a bit for some more information....

chib said...

Seems delicious!

From Kigali, Rwanda

Theresa said...

Chib, yes they are! Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment. :)

matersum said...

That's fantastic! And they look delicious! How do you store the dry ones? In air-tight containers, I assume?

Liz said...

I'll be getting two saskatoon bushes in a couple of weeks and I'm so excited. I've never tasted one but my Dad raves about them.

Theresa said...

Matersum - I stored the dry ones in a jam jar - it was probably fairly air tight. They were eaten up so fast that way though, I'm not sure if that was the best way to store them long-term. I'll have to see how it goes this year!

Liz - you will really like them, I'm sure! Very hardy, and apparently every part of the plant is useful for something. They are not as sweet as blueberries when they are fresh, but dried their sweetness is nicely concentrated. They grow wild around here, we were just lucky that our property had a bunch on it already - probably 50 bushes, spread all over the place, in total.

SoapBoxTech said...

If you're a wine drinker...try saskatoon wine. I hear its quite good tho Im not much of a wine drinker personally.

Mom usually freezes a lot of these but last year`s extreme drought meant almost none. I`ll have to mention this drying thing to her.

Green Bean said...

I love blueberries (down here is So Cal we don't have Saskatoons). I had the last jar from the freezer last month and the last of the dried ones two months ago. Anxiously awaiting blueberry season - especially after looking at that amazing photo.

Theresa said...

SBT - I may have to look into that wine idea - I do like me a nice glass of wine. And wine from my own wild saskatoon bushes would be pretty neat!

GreenBean - blueberries do grow here too, amazingly enough, although I think it takes some work to overwinter them. I can't wait for the first fruits of the season either!

G. Harrison said...

Hi Theresa,

when you commented that saskatoons are smaller than blueberries I was reminded of elderberries, a personal favourite of mine, for tarts, pies, syrup and wine.

do you have elderberries in Alta? Perhaps they are regional, like saskatoons. They flower in May - June and are ready in late Aug. - early Sept.

We just used the last of the frozen and will stock up this year. They're seedy and tart - like me - maybe that's why I like them so much.

Cheers,

GAH

sensiblevermonter said...

Huh, I have never heard of Saskatoons! You learn something new everyday! And I have to say, that scoop thing you found looks really neat! I'm sue that will help a ton!

Theresa said...

GAH - seedy and tart, eh? :) I don't think we have elderberries here but I should look into it because apparently the syrup is good for colds and such. The saskatoons flower and ripen on the same schedule it seems, although this could be similar for a lot of berries, I'm thinking...

SV - Saskatoons are also called June Berries as well as Service Berries - do those names sound familiar? I'm looking forward to trying out the scoop!

Beany said...

OT: This may be a haul for you and I'm not sure if you are interested in Zen, but Brad Warner is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan doing a book tour.

Love your profile picture!

Theresa said...

Thanks Beany - Saskatoon is a bit far of a drive under current cirucumstances (upcoming blog post will explain) but I'm glad to know of this person, who seems a lot like Noah Levine, who I've also come to really like. So thanks!

Avatars are fun :)