Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gooseberries, three pickers and a recipe...

We have a gooseberry bush that mom grew from one of those sprouts. You know the ones that come practically dead, in a box, you find in the garden center of your Kmart, Wal-mart, or home improvement store. You buy it, plant it and wonder if it will ever grow, let alone produce anything.

As the deal goes mom and dad grow the berries, grandpa picks them, grandma stems them and we get half. I looked out the window this morning when I heard mom talking to grandma on the phone. So this was the day grandpa would be coming to pick the gooseberries. I thought I'd take a look
at the bush to see if it looked too muddy for me to help, as it rained all day yesterday.
Please excuse our weeds, they just grew up all of a sudden like. We need more mulch around here. Mom seemed to think us bears were responsible for their removal. Hmmm, I don't know where she got that idea.

Okay, mom, I made the disclaimer, now can I show the photo? Oh yeah, there were mosquitoes out there too. You can't see them in the pictures, but believe me they are there.
Look who I caught helping himself to a gooseberry.
Look, there he is just eating away.
I guess you know if these berries are acceptable to the squirrels they are pretty ripe and not so sour. You better get them picked right away. So I hurried out to see if I could help pick some before grandpa came. I had to be beary careful because there are prickers on the bush, ouch!
Not everyone likes gooseberries. But I do, they make your mouth pucker because they are so sour.You have to use lots of sugar with them.

My grandpa came and finished the picking. It was good to see him out there picking today after all he's been through the last 10 months. Late last summer his doctors diagnosed him with a rare 3 lb. Thymoma, a tumor of the thymus gland. He's been in the hospital 6 times including the surgery.
He's a good grandpa, he picks them, but gets to eat very little of the fruits of his labor, he's diabetic. Grandma sometimes sneaks him a little taste when we have something made from the gooseberries.
Aren't they pretty?
A couple of years ago, grandma was reading one of her cookbooks "The Best of Illinois Cookbook". She found this recipe for Gooseberry Salad. She made it for Easter dinner using frozen gooseberries. Oh my goodness! Is it good! So she said I could share it with you in case you like gooseberries too. You can sometimes find them in the grocery store or at a farmers market, they can be pricey.

Gooseberry Jell-O Salad
2 - 2 1/2 c. Fresh or Frozen Gooseberries
1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Water

Cook berries, sugar and water 15 - 20 minutes in a
saucepan over med. heat stirring occasionally; cool.

2 - 3 oz. pkg. Lemon Jell-O
1/4 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Orange Juice
2 c. Boiling Water
2 c. Celery - cut fine
1/2 c. Walnuts - chopped (optional)

Dissolve Jell-O and 1/4 c. sugar; chill till slightly thickened. Add orange juice, berries, celery and nuts. Chill.

This year we had one bush and three pickers and one grandma to stem the berries. Can't wait for more salad, we did just have some on the 4th of July, but the leftovers have been hoovered up.

Grr-bye till later,



Cheryl Courtney Semick said...

Wow! They DO look de-lish! I don't think I've every seen gooseberries. I just love all the pictures you include in your blog, Buttons, it just makes the story so much better and I get to peek in on what you're doing.

By the way, I'm not Wednesday anymore. I'm just AC. Wednesday has a new mom.

Bye for now!

Sir Woodstock said...

Gooseberries are great!
Yours must be very ripe to be so pretty!
Mother sadly does not have a bush but somtimes goes to the local fruit farms to pick.
I am passing on your recipe to her pronto - who knows, I might just get a taste!

Hugs to all