October in Canada brings to mind Thanksgiving, turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. BUT in Ontario, October is Cranberry season, and the Bala Cranberry Festival.
Did you go? Did you try all things cranberry? Cranberry Crepes, candied cranberries, and even cranberry wine.
Cranberries are native to North America, growing on low shrubs in marsh-like soil. Harvesting happens in the fall when the berries are bright red. Wet harvesting involves flooding the marsh with water, and the cranberries float to the surface waiting to be collected. It is quite a sight to see, a pond with hundreds of floating cranberries. If you have a chance to visit a cranberry marsh, I highly recommend the experience.
Fresh cranberry sauce is a perfect accompaniment to turkey dinner. Fresh cranberries added to muffin batter, or scones are a sweet way to enjoy these red berries. My favourite way is to mix berries with fresh apples in a flakey pie shell.
Tips from the Pro …
- To plump dried cranberries before adding them to a recipe, Soak dried cranberries in boiling water for about 10-20 minutes.
- Substitute dried for fresh cranberries; ¾ cup of dried cranberries to 1 cup fresh, and reduce water by ¼ cup
DID you know ..
- Muskoka Cranberry Route runs September 21st to October 27th www.muskokacranberryroute.ca
- It was the early German and Dutch settlers who started calling it the “crane berry” because of the flower’s resemblance to the head and bill of a crane. Oceanspray.com
- In 2016, 98% of world production of cranberries resulted from the United States, Canada, and Chile. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder, sold fresh to consumers. Wikipedia.com