Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sable Hunter's Halloween Blog Hop Stop! Smutty Prizes and Cranberries!

Goodness, I forgot to post something! I'm not used to blogging more than snippets on the weekend. So the rules are a post of some sort about Halloween/autumn and a contest below! Stay tuned to see what you could leave a comment to win. 

A week ago, I went cranberry picking for the first time. A friend's town has a bog and they open it up yearly to the community. I expected it to be wet, the bushes to be knee-high, and for it to be sort of like an Ocean Spray commercial. 

It was not like that at all! 

Nothing but the deets! 
The bushes are ankle-high, and the bog was a sand quarry at one point. The town got the land during a tax thing and they discovered cranberries growing all on their own. They had another bog that was less productive, so they started seeding the bog with berries, hoping it would take. Boy, did they ever! There were MILLIONS of berries, everywhere you walked despite the plethora of people picking. 

But isn't a bog wet?
Yes, usually to some extent. But because this was a sand quarry and during digging, they hit water table and had to abandon it. The situation sort of acted like a bog, and cranberries are not choosy plants. The combination of sand and close water made them happy campers. The bogs I've been in before around my town are old ponds that have been taken over by moss and such. That grows on top, and every now and then you can see water underneath.  

So what's up with flooded bogs?
Commercial growers will flood the bog during picking season. The ripe berries float to the surface and can be gathered up quicker. We picked these by hand. One guy had this bucket with a comb-like attachment. He'd rake or comb through these little bushes and scoop them up that way. I eventually imitated him and used my hand as a comb. 

So what did you do with the berries?
So I brought them home and wondered what the hell to do with them. I decided to make cranberry muffins, but I was at the store and had no clue about ingredients. I do not bake (I'm a kick-ass chef, though) so I decided to go with a mix and doctor it up. I'll include the recipe for you. They were DELICIOUS! Very moist and full of berries. One recipe I researched after chopped the cranberries. I might do that next time, or add in more of them. But this had a lot of flavor. 

1 box cranberry orange muffin mix (I used Krusteaz low fat mix, but you can use whatever. This had canned cranberries. I just set the can aside.)
2 cups fresh cranberries, washed. I did whole, chopped would be less.
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup orange juice
(you could also add a little nutmeg and cinnamon. I did not but will try next time.)

Follow the directions on the box. The box called for 1 cup water and I substituted part orange juice for more flavor. Fill greased or papered muffin tins 2/3 full and bake like the box says. Easy, right? 

So my prize for suffering through this... 
Win one e-copy of any of my books and a $10 Amazon gift card. I'll keep this open for a few days since I put it up late. Wed, Oct 23. 

Good luck! Enjoy the recipe! Oh for a comment... How do you feel about cranberries? Favorite dish? Favorite fall dish? Go! 

Don't forget to follow the link for more blog hop goodness! Prizes galore! 


Vida B said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I like cranberries. I love to eat them as a muffin will be trying your recipe I also love it on dressing (stuffing). My favorite fall dish is chili and homemade chicken noodle soup.


Cheryl M said...

I love cranberries, especially jelled cranberry sauce before/at/after Thanksgiving. Really do not need an excuse [or holiday] for a reason to eat it. The recipe sounds yummy, but was wondering if I could substitute pomegranate for cranberry? They're back in season, and I bought a huge one yesterday. Just love Halloween and all the goodies that are prevalent this time of year.

Lee said...

Ohhh I'd love to go cranberry picking!!! As long as it wasn't a flooded bog! LOL I've never really liked cranberry sauce though....but I think it would be awesome to try to make cranberry jelly!! I do so love Fall scents and food!!! Yum!! Especially punkin pie and eggnog....yes...eggnog should be it's own food group! LOL Thanks for the chance to win!!

Teresa said...

I've never been cranberry picking. Don't have a fave cranberry dish. My fave fall/winter dish: Collards, saugage links & cornbread. I'm a Southern Girl.

Jen said...

I love cranberries, but have never had the chance to pick them fresh. Would love to that. My favorite cranberry dish is muffins with white chocolate and cranberries. Not health food, but delicious. We also make a turkey salad with cranberries and celery root that is really great as a sandwich or in a pita. Thanks for the giveaway.

Armenia said...

Thank you for the recipe. I still have frozen bags of cranberrys from last year, and will certainly bake these gems. These berrys lend themselves to freezing quite well.

armiefox at yahoo dot com

Armenia said...

Oops, forgot to add that I started making my own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinners. It the best.

Kim Muhl said...

YUM!! I LOVE cranberries but have never been picking. That sounds messy and FUN! I'll have to try that recipe since we love muffins around here.

I'm not really a fan of Halloween and never have been. But, I DO love autumn and all the scents of the season. So warm and cozy with the crisp air and warm sun!

Tiss said...

LOL, the picking sounds fun. Thanks for including the recipe, but I wont' be using it cause....I HATE CRANBERRIES! LOL. Thanks for being in Sable's Halloween blog hop tho.

Sin Chan said...

I like cranberries. It sounds like so such work picking them though.

Sara Henton said...

Good bc I really want to try out one of your books!!

ilona said...

I like cranberry juice - very healthy stuff. Not so keen on them otherwise though :S

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