NORTH AMERICAN TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS FOOD SYSTEMS

by Linwood Watson

Traditional Long-Cook Berry Jam

Cooking Temp: 220  °F Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

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  1. Wash berries under cold running water and drain. Coarsely crush berries one layer at a time using a potato masher. Measure 9 cups of crushed berries.

  2. Place crushed berries in a large saucepan over low- medium heat, stirring continually.

  3. Once the crushed berries begin to steam, stir in the sugar until all the sugar dissolves.

  4. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Stir constantly to prevent sticking. Continue to cook until reaching the gelling point (220 F). To check for the gelling point, intermittently dip a spoon into the mixture and observe how the berries drip off the spoon. The gelling point has been reached when the mixture stops being runny and begins to fall off the spoon in thick clumps.

  5. Once the mixture reaches the gelling point, remove from heat. Skim off foam if needed.

    Traditional Long-Cook Berry Jam can be cooled and transferred into a container for cold storage in a refrigerator. Traditional Long-Cook Berry Jam can also be canned for shelf-stable storage when it’s still hot; consult a canning resource for further information on canning guidelines.**

Note

*Use Blueberries, Native, Frozen, or any
mixture of mulberries, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, dewberries, gooseberries, loganberries, raspberries, brambleberries, strawberries, or youngberries. Substitute frozen berries when fresh berries are not available.


**Author Note: Just like foraging, the best practice for fruit preservation canning is to learn from someone who has been doing the task for years, so spend some “jam time” with your grandma, uncle, or auntie. Every Native community has a handful of canners who take pride in their work. Ideally, you can merge current canning science with family cooking practices. Note that while rare, you want to avoid botulism. Follow a reliable source, don’t skimp on proper pH (lemon juice if called for), and complete boiling times!

Keywords: Berry Jam

NATIFS

PROMOTING INDIGENOUS FOODWAYS EDUCATION - Our mission is to promote Indigenous foodways education and facilitate Indigenous food access.

As a participant in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative, NĀTIFS works with its Indigenous Food Lab and partner Indigenous chefs across the country to develop recipes and accompanying cooking videos that demonstrate how to combine Indigenous & locally forageable foods with items available to tribal communities through the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) federal emergency food program.

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