Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Harvesting Hawthorne Berries

I had a goal of collecting 5 lbs. of the hawthorne berries today but I didn't start early enough and the sun went down before I finished. I tasted a few of various colors to see which ones I wanted. It basically tastes like a green apple, but not quite so tart. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it might be a little tart or bitter. None of the colors tasted bad but the darker ones were slightly more sweet. There's not a lot of meat in the little berries because there's 5 seeds, that take most of the inside. The sun has to be shining on the fruit or you can't tell what's red and what's purple. It was hard enough distinguishing with the sun. I kept getting stabbed by the thorns on the limbs though no scrathes, stabs were too bad. In the end, I only got 2 1/2 lbs. I think I picked for 2-3 hours, I'm not realy sure.

While I was out picking, I had dinner cooking in the crockpot, split pea soup. I had a meaty ham bone in the freezer for a few months from the last time we had ham. I always cube all the ham we dno't eat that first night and use it in recipes that call for cubed ham. It tastes much better than the bagged ones you can buy. I save the bone, with meat still attached, for soups. I've never had split peas soup before though and I had a bag of split peas to use up so thought it would be perfect. It filled the whole house with a good smell! I thought it was pretty good, not great, but it was good.

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup

1 (16 ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed
1 meaty ham bone
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, plus leaves, chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sesoning salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
1 1/2 quarts hot water

1. Layer ingredients in crockpot.
2. Pour in water, so don't stir.
3. Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
4. Remove Bay leaf. Remove bone & meat from soup.
5. Sperate meat from bone, shred into small pieces and return to pot.

The dogs and I went for another walk tonight. They were only half as long as their first walks but they were all so grateful that I took them. Now, everyone is sprawled on the floor asleep.


Heather and Thomas Mann said...

2-3 hours of picking berries?! Know I KNOW you are adopted ;) Glad you are able to do things you enjoy... again.

Valerie said...

Wow! You sure cook well even though it's just you. I hope you get to enjoy all your hard work with the berries.

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