I chose the URL for this blog – birchtreemaiden – because, in Thomas the Rhymer, there is a fairy woman who is known to steal fruit.
This is, to a point, me. I hunt for fruit that grows in urban scrub-land, or in parks, or even that which leans over back-yard walls into public parking lots. It’s miserable to see it rotting on the ground, so I pick it before it falls and turn it into preserves, or whatever, in my kitchen.
Case in point: The following recipe is for sour cherry jam. It was made with the litre-or-so worth of cherries I picked from a tree around the corner from me.
It turned out a gorgeous pinkish-red colour, and tastes pretty-much like candy. ❤ 🙂
Sour Cherry Jam
2 C pitted sour cherries (starts out as about 1L unpitted sour cherries, fyi)
1¼ C granulated sugar
2 tbsp pear cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar, or raspberry vinegar, but I used what I had)
¼ C water
2 tbsp pectin crystals
Put a small glass plate in the freezer
Boil the hell out of a 2C canning jar + lid and ring (let the steam do the sterilizing and you can do this in a frying pan – handy tip), remove from the water and set upside-down on a cooling rack
Put everything except the pectin in a glass/steel pot and heat it up until the sugar dissolves
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and boil the hell out of it, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes
Add the pectin and continue to boil the hell out of it for a further five minutes, stirring constantly
Using a funnel, pour the jam into the sterilized jar
Cap the jar tightly
Set the jar, upside down, in the water-bath again, and boil the hell out of it (making sure the water comes up well over the lid of the jar) for 5-10 minutes.
Take it out of the water and set it, upright, to cool on the cooling rack.
As it cools, you should hear the “plink” sound of the lid being sucked down against the glass and sealing itself.
Once cooled, re-tighten the ring (it will be loose, since the lid sucked itself down tight to the jar), and store as you will.
Eat the jam on toast, or use it as tart-filling or spooned over cheesecake. Huzzah! 😀
– Meliad the Birch Maiden
 Watch the video in the link. She's talking about food as an asset and how up-in-our-heads we, as Western, grocery-store-happy people, can get about food, food waist, food availability, and so on. It's a neat little clip.