I’m planning a stop on my vacation to the town I mention in Stealing Hope. It’s a small town in the mountains of Colorado. Ignacius. I have to convince my husband however! He doesn’t want to stop there. It’s too far out of the way from where we plan on going. I don’t think it’s that far!
In the mean time, I’m researching local trees so my heroine, Faith knows how each tree can help.
Boxelder (I have one of these in my yard!)
This maple of the plains provides sap suitable for making maple syrup. The syrup made from boxelder is not as sweet as the sugar from the true sugar maple.
I have been warned about sticking a tap into our tree, lol. We’ll see! They seen to be home to lots of these pests. So it’s not my favorite tree!
When ripe, they are tolerable eating, somewhat astringent. Ordinarily so abundant that it constitutes a large portion of the vegetable food of both Indians and white trappers who visit these regions.
3 cups prepared chokecherry juice (about 5 pounds chokecherries)
¼ cup lemon juice
1 package (1.75 ounces or 3 1/12 tablespoons) powdered pectin
4 ½ cups sugar
- Wash chokecherries. Do not pit. Mash thoroughly.
- Put cherries in a large pot and stir in 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Extract juices by placing a cone-shaped sieve or a colander over a large bowl or pot. Spread three layers damp cheesecloth or jelly bag inside sieve or colander. Then, pour in hot prepared fruit. Tie cheesecloth top or close bag and let the fruit drip into the bowl or pot until dripping stops. Press gently. (Strain two or three more times for extra clear jelly.) Measure juice. If necessary, add up to ½ cup water for exact measure.
- Meanwhile, to prepare mason jars, place them on the canner rack and submerge in boiling water for 10 minutes. Place new, flat lids in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use.
- Measure prepared fruit juice and lemon juice in a 6- to 8-quart pot. Measure sugar and set aside in another bowl. Add pectin to juice mixture, and stir thoroughly.
- Place pot with juice mixture over high heat. Stir constantly to prevent scorching as the juice comes to a full roiling boil (a boil that does not stop when stirred). If mixture starts to scorch, reduce heat to medium heat.
- Stir in sugar, mixing well. To minimize foaming, add ¼ teaspoon butter. Bring to a full roiling boil again, stirring constantly. Continue to boil 2 minutes (1 minute, if using Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin). Remove pot from heat, and skim off any foam with a tablespoon.
- Pull jelly jars from the canner, and place on counter. With a funnel, fill each jar to a quarter inch from the rim. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp cloth and place lid. Twist on band just to resistance — not tightly.
- Bring canner water to a boil, and place filled and capped jelly jars on the rack. Submerge for 10 minutes in the hot water bath.
- Carefully remove the jars and let them set up in a cool, dry place.
Yield: 6 8-ounce jars jelly
Source: MCP Pectin
Of course you have to know how to make sure you actually found a chokecherry tree!
Buzzel has a good article to do so. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-to-identify-a-chokecherry-tree-easily.html
Aspen bark contains salicin, a chemical closely related to aspirin, and the bark was used by Indians and pioneers to treat fevers.
It was also used as a diuretic, eczemas, wormer, an anti-rheumatic drug, disinfectant, and antiseptic.
There are tons of plants and trees around us that we no longer use in our world. We’ve become dependent on the newest latest drugs, pre-made food and drinks. If we open our eyes and learn about our world, how much better off would we be?