News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim


Juniper Berries on branch

|| 14 November 2016

More About Juniper Berries

In the previous Nouvelles, I told you that I had my first experience cooking with juniper berries in Alsatian Choucroute. Chic & Slim reader Janet in Seattle has been cooking with juniper berries several years. She wrote:

Good for you - trying to use Juniper Berries.  I began crushing the berries and adding them to beef roast and stews about 3 years ago.

Last year's holiday main event was roast duck.  I made a sort-of marinade/sauce of freshly-crushed juniper berries, a little garlic, fresh chopped rosemary mixed with cherries "preserved" in Armagnac that I keep in the pantry.  The juniper berries gave a nice background freshness.  

Lots of ways to play with this ingredient.  I'm always looking for ways to bring a little wild flavor to ordinary dishes.

Janet has encouraged me to try juniper berries in other dishes besides choucroute. Merci, Janet.

Another Chic & Slim reader emailed her version of choucroute. Sounds delicious. I will be sharing it with you soon. As well as my own tweaks of the recipe that Kat sent from Alsace. But right now I must grab a paint brush. The front door frame must be painted while the weather is still reasonably warm.

And I am happy to report that I have all the old carpet and padding off the living room. Removing the glue that held down the padding was laborious — until I worked out a system. Then it sort of became fun. Only one truly bad spot in the room near the front door. Curses on whoever splattered white paint there years ago. But the rest of the hardwood floor is in remarkably good condition for an 85-year-old floor. More photos soon.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

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|| 17 November 2016

Juniper Berries Encore

We are in for another 80 degree F (26 C.) day here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie. Mid-November and half the population is still wearing shorts. But a drop to more seasonable temperatures tomorrow. Given my body’s aversion to the cold, I want to finish my lawn mowing today. (One good thing about our now-over drought was you didn't spend much time with the lawn mower.) In the meantime, more juniper berries.

Ann Leslie in New York emailed a comment and link on juniper berries. Merci, Ann Leslie. She wrote:

If you have juniper bushes you can harvest the berries yourself. However, when I looked this up, I learned that some varieties are more edible than others. There’s quite a bit of interesting information about the berries in Wikipedia. For instance, they are a diuretic and have been used as both an appetite suppressant and an appetite stimulant !

If you are planning to harvest your own juniper berries, rather than buy the dried commercial ones as I did, unless you are experienced, I suggest that you read the Wikipedia page before you put wild-harvested berries in your food. Some species are very bitter. At least one, Juniperus sabina, is toxic. Just for clarity, juniper berries aren’t really berries. They are female seed cones.

According to Wikipedia, the Native Americans put juniper berries to many uses — including using them as a female contraceptive.

Wikipedia article on juniper berries

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

PS: When you go to the Wikipedia page, you may get a pop-up request for a donation. The annual fund drive is on. I find Wikipedia a valuable, ad-free source for info and images. So I made my annual donation this morning. Wikipedia won't survive unless we who use it, support it.

image: juniper berries via Wikimedia

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