Wild Blackberry Jam

The wild blackberries are small this summer. At least the ones I picked seemed tiny compared to the huge ones I picked as a kid. Those berries were almost as long as my little finger. Of course, my little fingers were also a lot smaller than they are today, so my memory might be colored…
Read More

Ginger Marmalade

Our friend Chris joins my hunting partners and me at the cabin every deer season. He doesn’t hunt himself but he has chased a few deer past our stands and he is always ready to help drag one back to the cabin. He also happens to be the camp cook who makes a mean chili…
Read More

Wild Plum Jelly

Across the small field that had originally been his grandparents’ kitchen garden when my father was a boy was a thicket of wild plums. Our home was on the southwest forty of my great-grandparents’ farm, which had been sold off piecemeal after their deaths. The homestead was three blocks away from our house and belonged…
Read More

Chokecherry Jelly

“Woof!” said the bear and raced north. “Woof!” said my mother as she ran south. My father thought it was funny. He loved telling the story of how Mom was so focused on picking blackberries that she didn’t notice the black bear eating berries in the same patch. The bear was also oblivious to my…
Read More

Wild Raspberry Jam

When I got back to the cabin from trimming one of the trails, I found a note on the table from Jerri that said simply, “11:20 Gone a-berrying.” Whenever I see that expression I am reminded of Walden. Thoreau wrote in the chapter on “Visitors” that they included “Children come a-berrying.” And in the chapter…
Read More