As I canned cherries and gooseberries this summer, I thought of my mother. She had stimulated my interest in canning. We had made and canned thimbleberry jam together. It was a family project to pick and clean the wild berries.
Gooseberries have stems and “pig tales” (the remainder of the flower).
They also have a number of seeds in each berry. I was determined to find an easy way to process the berries, preserving their flavor.
My daughter’s mother-in-law had found a Victoria strainer for me. I have made applesauce using it. When the apples are cooked it will strain out the seeds and skin of the apples. It could do the same for the gooseberries.
I washed the gooseberries, not bothering to remove the stems or pig tales. I put them in the crockpot and let them cook for several hours. When they were soft and juicy, I processed them in the Victoria strainer. The berries came out as a smooth and seedless sauce.
The sauce went into a large pot and I added honey and sugar to taste. I let the sauce simmer for ten minutes and then poured it into sterilized jars. I placed the canning lids on and tightened the rings and then gave a quarter turn to loosen. The jars went into a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
The sauce has a rich tartness. It is good on oatmeal and pancakes. It can be combined with apples for apple pie. I will experiment with additional uses.
Mom passed away in 2020. The memories come to mind in random moments, and I pause, grateful for her influence.