Living far away from city centers sometimes makes sourcing out things very difficult. I’ve wanted to make this jam for a long time and had the recipe tucked away for someday when I would be able to find gooseberries. My neighbors tell me they grow wild around us. I haven’t.. seen.. any…In the spring I found gooseberry plants and bought some thinking this would have to be the way I made that jam. I didn’t even get a decent sized handful. On going through a city when going on my camping trip I decided on my way back I would make it an objective to find these precious and rare berries. Why gooseberries? Are they my favorite berry? I loved the picture that came with the recipe. As we know from the wallpaper extravaganza, I tend to fall for pictures of beautiful things, and want them for myself. To tell the truth I don’t think I’d even eaten a gooseberry before this. I found gooseberries in a grocery store there (thinking it was actually easy to find them.. I don’t know why the grocery stores in towns closer to me couldn’t just stock them…) They were on the expensive side (just like the wallpaper..) but away I went. I brought them home, washed them, stemmed them. Stared in awe at their plump berry loveliness. I ate one. It was like a grape, crossed with a red current, crossed with a cranberry. It was love.
Gooseberry Jam With Orange
Juice & Zest of 2 oranges
4 & 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Package of Pectin
8 250ml Canning Jars
1. Wash the gooseberries, remove stems and crowns and heat, just covered with water (the less the better). Add the orange juice and zest and return to the boil. Add sugar & Pectin. Stir with a wooden spoon (a metal spoon will get too hot) until sugar has dissolved. Get it up to a rolling boil for about 20 minutes.
2. The jam should be setting nicely and somewhat sticking to the spoon. Looking like jam. By now the house should smell like Christmas Day. If the jam has thickened nicely, the jam is ready.
3. Fill sterilized jars and twist on lids, finger tight leaving about a centimeter of space. Process for 10-15 minutes. The jam should have a shelf life of about one year if seals have sealed properly.
Some Gooseberry Health Benefits: (good to keep in mind if thinking about another long winter, in a cabin..)
-All natural hair and nail strengthener
-Maintains muscles, including heart
-Wealth of Vitamin C, aids in digestion
-Improve’s bodies overall natural defense
-Anti-Inflammatory, strengthens liver
-Absolutely loaded in anti-oxidants!
Though I’m sure in cooking and processing the jam kills a lot of the nutrients in the berries (not to mention the added sugar..) I’d like to think that this winter, I’ll bake some beautiful flaky scones in my wood cook stove, and open up a jar of gooseberry jam, and it will be the best day ever.