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. So...by 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!