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.

8 comments:

  1. Beautiful, I have never ever seen a prickly pear before xoxox Clarice

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  2. The blossoms really are pretty! What a fun surprise it must be to see them blooming like that...

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  3. Our cousin harvests prickly pear fruit on their ranch in Arizona and makes wonderful prickly pear jelly. It's so delicious!

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  4. I've heard of them but had never seen them before. Beautiful!

    Of course, living in the Midwest we don't have them. :)

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  5. What a beautiful blossom! The jelly sounds so eXotic as compared to our everyday "wild blackberry" jam.

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  6. Ok here is the spill of making prickly pear jelly. It is tons of work! I used to make it and haven't for a few years. I ruined a good pair of leather gloves trying to get the stickers off...and the juice stains everything it touches..not for good, but it is hard to get it off. It will stain clothing forever. I will dig around and see if I can find my directions and pass them on if you would like. It might be a few days...ya know with life and such.
    Love the pictures!

    ~M~

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  7. Jody...jump over to my blog I got the recipe up. :)

    Have a nice day.

    ~M~

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  8. These pretty rosy flowers are nice to look at but nasty if you get poked by them.

    Ranch Wife, I'll look forward to getting your recipe for the jelly. Thank you!

    Jody

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