Friday, November 5, 2010

Picking berries with the boys

If there is one thing I have learned in three years of burrokeeping it is that, unless I keep George and Alan locked up in the barn, I cannot control what they eat. They will nibble on whatever they deem to be tasty – cholla cactus, for example – and I've got to trust them to know what's best for themselves and their digestive systems.

Yesterday, I caught them snacking on juniper berries.


Maybe they know something I don't, I thought. It wouldn't be the first time. 
So I googled around for recipes that used juniper berries.


Making bathtub gin sounded like too much work.


And making "Carbonnade of Wild Boar" or "Jugged Hare" or "Liver and Juniper Meatballs" sounded too disgusting.

If anybody's got a recipe for Juniper Berry Jam, I'm listening...assuming the boys don't eat them all first.

20 comments:

  1. I hope someone helps you out as the berries look pretty, and if the boys love them, well .....

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  2. Gin is the only thing that comes to mind, and you've already decided that ain't happenin'.
    Let me know if George and Alan begin to act a little loopy once those berries have been inside them for a while.

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  3. I laughed out load at the bathtub gin remark.

    I thought Juniper berries were poisonous to horses? Or something like that was, just can't remember exactly. Better check.

    Well, I guess if they're still standing and eating they must not be too toxic to burro tummies. They are still standing, right?!

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  4. Hope they don't have belly aches today. *hic*

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  5. What's wrong with a little bathtub gin? :)

    The birds rely on those berries to get through your winters. Maybe the boys will share them with the birds?

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  6. Nancy in NC11/5/10, 7:33 AM

    Love that second shot of George..he has the prettiest face. Maybe I should have said handsome instead...

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  7. I just googled quick. Here is some interesting reading on it.

    http://arcticrose.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/juniper-berries-traditional-medicine-or-food-use/

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  8. They may get a tummy-ache or diarrhea if they eat too many. I was told they can be poisonous to horses. Last spring my mini-donk was caught eating fiddle flowers on our property which gave him a bad tummy-ache. I spent hours pulling them all out after that!

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  9. I wonder how they taste? Have you tried one straight off the tree? I wonder if they have a strong, piney flavour like the smell of the tree. Now I'm going to have to go find me a juniper tree to find out!

    Bon appetit!

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  10. I've used juniper berries on cornish game hen, in a bourbon sauce. I've also used them in marinades for venison and lamb. You only need 4-7 berries. They're very strong. You won't need to pick many.

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  11. Juniper berries are extremely decorative, if all else fails. :)

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  12. The Wooman says to taghe wodka or brandy and corber the berries weeth the liquor por worn mornth.

    Also, she say you can roas' queences weeth the berries, or apples or pears.

    Can I corm an' leab weeth you?

    You are begetarian, yes?

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  13. Hi Linda

    The cat and I are not speaking at the moment but his suggestion is actually a good one:

    http://66squarefeetfood.blogspot.com/2010/10/roast-quinces-with-juniper.html

    I envy you your fresh berries. They are delicious.

    And you can cover them with your favourite hard liquor, if you drink the stuff (I do), in a big mason jar for up to 6 months, to get all the lovely junipery flavour out of them and into the liquor. Vodka is good as it is tasteless, but I can see it working with brandy, too.

    A juniper syrup would be good. Water, sugar, cup or two of berries, boiled up for 15 minutes, strained, kept in fridge and used to flavour desserts, cool drinks, etc.

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  14. I want to sample whatever you end up making with them! :)

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  15. I'm still keep showing people your stained-concete floor. My workplace is building a new facility and I sent your link around to the contractor, architect, etc.

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  16. Maybe mix them with flour or corn meal and bake them a little so they can have a treat when the berries are gone?

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  17. I think the Native American's ate loads of them here in Ca. Aren't they used like capers also? I love capers!

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  18. they look so happy just eating them off the bush! I wouldn' spend the effort in the kitchen :)

    (of course, the favorite thing I like to make for dinner is reservations!)

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  19. Such a handsome boy, he is!!! Very sweet pictres, my dear, as always....!

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  20. Juniper berries taste nasty.... I can't think of, nor ever heard of a single recipe using juniper berries except gin.... BLECK. Thousands of donkeys, horses, cattle and wildlife live on millions of acres of Juniper range.... there is no problem with them eating them.

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