There are chokecherries hanging in big bunches over almost every trail in the river valley right now. They are sweet, juicy, and extremely astringent. Pick ’em while you can.
There is the pit to contend with. If you plan on picking more than a handful, the best way to process them is using a food mill. If the plate perforation size is correct, the mill will rub the flesh from the berries and leave the pits behind.
From the juice you can make a jelly or sauce to accompany game and other lean red meat (think: tannic red wine).
Or the juice can be strained and enjoyed on its own as chokecherry cordial.
A few of the many wild edibles that are in season in and around Edmonton in early fall:
Highbush cranberries are traditionally picked after the first frost, when they are said to be sweetest. I don’t know if the freezing temperature itself does something to sweeten the fruit, or if it’s simply that waiting until the first frost gives the fruit the longest possible time to ripen and sweeten.
Cool, cloudy summers like the one we’ve just had yield berries with more acid and less sugar. Even so, the berries will still be good, so go pick a handful to save for Thanksgiving dinner.
Cornucopic clusters of chokecherries hang along the trails of the river valley this … Continue reading.