One of the pleasures of living in a part of the world where you’re never far from wild places is the opportunity to harvest some of nature’s abundance. There are many varieties of berries in Alaska, but my favorite is low-bush cranberry, also widely known as lingonberry. This small ground-hugging shrub produces maroon-colored berries when fully ripe and are at their best after the first frost. Don’t wait too long though or the berries will get over-ripe and go soft, or will have already been harvested by other humans, birds, or animals.
Low-bush cranberries keep for quite a while if kept cool, or of course can be frozen. They’re delicious used whole in breads, pancakes, or muffins, and make wonderful sauces and relishes. A favorite recipe is for “Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce” from the Alaska Wild Berry Guide and Cookbook. Credit for the cooking and canning to Robyn.