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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bitter Cherry Jam

I grew up along the North Saskatchewan River, and every fall people would pick chokecherries, Prunus virginiana, and make jelly, which despite the mouth puckering astringent qualities of the berries, was delicious. Here on the West Coast we have several bitter cherry treesPrunus emarginata, growing in our yard, so this being an excellent year for fruit production of all kinds, I decided to see what kind of jelly the bitter cherries would make. The berries are edible and the birds love them, but true to their name, they are bitter rather than astringent. Despite adding lots of sugar to the jelly, it is still bitter. I just made a half jar, and I will see if it mellows with keeping, but this was not the success of my oregon grape, Mahonia nervosa, jam which is truly wonderful.
The quite literally bitter, Bitter Cherry Jelly.

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