November 05, 2007

Eat More Cranberries

Every Fall, one of the signals of the approaching holiday baking and cooking season is the appearance of fresh cranberries in the produce departments of our supermarkets. According to Oceanspray, millions of pounds of cranberries are harvested between mid-September and mid-November.

The modern cranberry industry, in which cranberries are grown for cultivation, got its start in Massachusetts in the early 1800s. New Jersey growers began appearing in the 1830s with Wisconsin growers entering the market in the 1860s. By 1885 there were cranberry growers as far away as Washington and Oregon.

Grower associations and marketing cooperatives were formed as the industry grew in size and expanded in scope. The American Cranberry Exchange was formed as a merger between the National Fruit Exchange and the Growers' Cranberry Company sometime around 1907.

The U.S. Cranberry Industry: Historical Changes and the Current Situation (.pdf file) states that:


"The newly strengthened ACE operated like a well-oiled machine. It was owned and directed by the growers and represented their own principles. All members formed contracts to give their whole crop to the individual sales companies, while the ACE handled the promotion, placement, and sales of the berries. The berries were pooled by grade, type, and state and sold under the Eatmor brand name."
Cranberries and How to Cook Them (1938, 20 pages) was one of the promotional items published by the American Cranberry Exchange and featured Eatmor Cranberries as one of the recipe ingredients.

The copy inside reassures customers with talk of sharp-eyed inspectors, gently harvested cranberries, and the claim "only the finest of the best" makes the grade for the Eatmor brand. The health benefits of cranberry consumption, Vitamin C with supplementary amounts of iodine and other mineral salts, is also mentioned.

Cranberries are incorporated into a variety of dishes in the 43 recipes and range from fresh sauce to canned conserves to desserts and meat accompaniments. One colorful page offers holiday decorating advice: "trim the Christmas trees in the good old-fashioned way...with gay red cranberries strung with needle and thread." Vintage color illustrations complement many of the recipes.

While I have tasted a Mock Apple Pie made with green tomatoes and which does taste somewhat like an apple pie, I have never tried a Mock Cherry Pie done with cranberries and raisins.

MOCK CHERRY PIE

3 cups Eatmor Cranberries
1 cup seeded raisins
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pie crust

Chop cranberries and combine with remaining ingredients. Fill pastry lined pie plate, and cover with upper crust. Bake in hot oven, 400 degrees F., about 45 minutes.
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The following recipe caught my eye because of the old-fashioned metal clamp-on food grinder shown in the illustration. I use a Universal grinder just like this to grind up cooked roast beef and roast pork for taco fillings.

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH
(No Cooking)

The aristocrat of relishes. Particularly good with all meats, hot or cold.

1 pound (4 cups) Eatmor Cranberries
2 oranges
2 cups sugar

Put cranberries through food chopper. Peel oranges, remove seeds and put rind and oranges trhough chopper. Mix with cranberries and sugar. Let stand for a few hours before serving. This easy, popular uncooked relish can be put up for future use in sterilized glasses covered with paraffin.
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Having just purchased my first fresh cranberries of the season, I tried out this recipe from the booklet this morning.

CRANBERRY MUFFINS

1 cup Eatmor Cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter

Chop cranberries and sprinkle with half the sugar. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar together. Beat egg slightly, combine with milk and melted butter and add to dry ingredients. Stir only until blended. Then fold in cranberries. Transfer to buttered muffin pans and bake in hot oven, 425 degrees F., about 25 minutes. Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

I did use mini muffin tins instead of regular size and I cooked them for only 15 minutes (14 might have been better). They turned out fine despite the 70 year age of the recipe. Makes 36 mini muffins.

The muffins are shown in a red wooden recipe box that I got in a handmade recipe box swap on Swap-bot. The photo isn't all that great--I'm hoping Santa will bring me a new digital camera this year.

3 Comments:

At 4:40 AM CST, Blogger T.W. Barritt said...

I love cranberries. A number of years ago, I was in Massachusetts during the cranberry harvest and got to so the process of flooding the bogs. It looks like a huge red lake. I've never heard of mock cherry pie before - that's quite a twist on a classic!

 
At 6:53 PM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

I would like to see that, it sounds beautiful. I have a lovely book called Cranberry Harvest - A History of Cranberry Growing in Massachusetts. It has a lot of old picture of the harvesting, people, equipment, etc.

 
At 6:58 PM CDT, Anonymous cheri said...

I just recently relieved my Mother of her eatmor cranberry receipe book. The mock
cherry pie was the first thing I made. It was delicious if a little sweet. I have most of the original 1938 pamplet and plan to try all the receipes- the hawaiian pie, the pudding ec. I would post some of these receipes but I'm fooling around at work and don't have them with me Cheri

 

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