Thursday, October 28, 2010

cranberry juicing

It's that time of year again. The time of year when the bogs are flooded and berries are churned to the surface and they bob in blue black water as they're herded into the waiting trucks. I can't help myself. Even though I have witnessed the harvest time upon time upon time, I am drawn to it like Odysseus to a Siren. I was feeling a little blue when "our" bogs were being harvested because it was raining. I couldn't take the kids out in the rain and I was missing it. It really sent me into a little sulk. But then, the clouds lifted for a bit and the rains stopped and I bundled up the kids, leashed the dogs and off we went.

The kids seem as fascinated by the harvest as I am. The big machines, the bright bobbing berries in the pond of water that didn't even exist the day before, the water spraying everywhere from the truck, the incredible noisiness of the trucks and conveyors, the people waist deep in water and berries, all combine to make it an irresistible multi-sensory experience. After getting our fill, and needing to thaw out, we head back to the house.

The kids had picked up wayward berries on our little field trip and their coat pockets were full of them. I explained how each was filled with a pocket of air and demonstrated that stepping on one produced a delightful "POP!" My little group of scientists conducted the same experiment and sacrificed nearly every one of their berries to the quest for higher knowlegde...and really fun popping noises. Katie held on to her very last berry though. I asked her what her plans for it were and she replied, "I'm going to make cranberry juice."

She set to work as soon as we got back home. Katie dragged a stool over to the counter, got out the juicer (the old fashioned kind) and began juicing. It was hard work.

She had made big promises to her friends that she was making them juice and they were eagerly watching her progress. Talk about pressure.

At this point she realized her little red berry was all squeezed out.

She pulled the glass over and poured out the fruits of her labor. As the one solitary little drop of juice dribbled into the glass Kate remarked, "Mumma, I think we're going to need a LOT more berries."

Rather than pick up the berries we needed for this endeavor from the roadside, I purchased a few bags from a local farmstand and consulted google for a recipe and we were good to go. The kids measured out the berries, washed them and dumped them back into a pot.

After adding some water, we put the pot on the stove to boil.

Twenty minutes later out berries had all popped and the water had turned a bright crimson. Time to bust out the strainer.

Once the juice was strained, sugar was added and it went back to the stove to simmer some more. A half an hour later, we deemed it done and poured it into a pitcher and into the fridge it went. The kids were giddy with excitement that soon, very soon, they'd be drinking cranberry juice made with their own two hands.

Bottoms up!

I can't always take an idea one of the kids have and go with it. Some are just impossible (planting an entire banana, you know, so a banana tree will grow), some are just impractical (let's see how long it will take us to walk to Mimi's house), and sometimes we're just too busy (Sam attempting to eat his alphabits alphabetically before school in the morning...taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too long buddy). But as time and climate and practicality allows, we follow these whims and wonders of our kids through to the sweet end. And when they yield fruits such as the smile below, it is all worth it.

1 comment:

Monica Juicer said...

Thanks for sharing! It is really a nice a blog, I actually enjoyed reading it. It's a good thing that you chose cranberry because it's very healthy and it helps in elimination. And I just want to say that the kids on the pictures are so cute!!