Sunday, July 12, 2009
Plains Prickly pear...
The *rose* of the prairie.
While we were out riding, I tucked my camera in my pocket, knowing that the prickly pear would be in bloom. And they were.
A few years ago, Hubs and I were delivering bulls to a couple in South Dakota and the wife was showing me the canned goods she had been putting up. She had been making jellies out of prairie fruits to sell to local souvenir stores. Some of the jellies were: chokecherry (one of my favorites), buffalo berry, and prickly pear. Being a jelly-maker myself, I was naturally curious about making prickly pear jelly since we have an abundance of the "fruit." She told me that in the fall, she and a few relatives and friends go out with tall boots, leather gloves and pliers to pick the prickly pear fruits off the tops of the cacti. If you've ever been around the prickly pear, you know how tedious this procedure would be. And to think, she makes jars and jars of this to sell!
Well, I've never attempted the prickly pear jelly, but I did get a sampling of it that day and it's quite good. I really would like to try making a batch someday. If you're ever inclined to make prickly pear jelly, you might enjoy this article from Mother Earth News. The author described gathering the prickly pears and the jelly making method just as the lady I met did it.
For now, I'll just enjoy the blossoms.