Saturday, October 22, 2011

BBQ Clams, Smoked Salmon, Elderberry Jelly, and Acorns

Shin, Katrina and I went out to the Sea Change and 100th Anniversary of BC Parks Celebration at SNITCEL (Todd Inlet).  JB and Earl Claxton Jr. were leading several events: JB lead an ethnobotany hike which I missed because I was helping with the fires.  Earl was BBQing salmon and manila clams.  The clams tasted amazing!  He had steamed them before he came, and then put them on skewers next to the fire.  He said that his grandmother used to use snowberry twigs for clam skewers and spreaders to keep the salmon from curling as it cooked.  Earl also brought along some hard smoked Chum and some dried clams.  He dries the clams by steaming them, then laying them on a cookie sheet and putting them in the oven at low heat.
I finally got around to making jelly out of the elderberry (Sambucus caerulea) juice.  I started with about 15 cups of juice and brought it to a boil.  It actually simmered for about half an hour while I biked to the store to get some pectin.  Then I added 4 cups of sugar and two packets of no sugar needed pectin.  It set weakly on a cold plate and on the bottom of the pot after I emptied the jelly into the jars.  I don’t want it to set as strongly as last time that I made elderberry jelly—it was like cheese!
I also ground up some Quercus robur acorns.  I let the blender work for longer to try and attain a finer acorn meal.  Then I ran it through my 2 mm kitchen sieve.  It all passed through the sieve after a second blending, but there are still some small chunks that I think a 1 mm sieve would catch.  I am leaching enough for several meals since I would rather not have multiple jars leaching at a time.  I think I can refrigerate the finished product for a few days while I use it.  The fully dried acorns grind much better than the partially dried ones (unless the difference has to do with the species of oak—they were Garry Oak last week).  There was not nearly as much clumping, due—I think—to less moisture.  However, the hard dry acorns are very loud.  We found refuge from the clatter by sticking the English Oak acorns in our ears.  They are perfectly sized for earplugs!
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2 comments:

  1. You should just make your own pectin from the crab apples. It's easy, you boil or steam the crab apples till they mash easily then put them in a cheese cloth and collect the liquid, which becomes a clear jelly like substance when cool.

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  2. Good idea, although we've already canned most of the stuff needing pectin. We did make some juice like this, but it was pink instead of clear. And used a lot of it for cider and crabapple meringue pie.

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