So, I was driving on my way to an errand and sort of lamenting the cold dreary day and the bare trees. Although this wonderful part of the world has many useful plants all year round, I miss the bounty and constant thrill of discovery that spring and summer have to offer.
|J. Callicarpa, What a lovely sight on an icky early winter day!|
The plant I found however, was Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica). After thoroughly searching, I found a few reports of this berry being eaten as a trail nibble, but no accounts of jelly being made from it. I really wanted to make jelly, so I studied as much as I could about this plant as I laboriously separated the tiny berries from the calyxes and leaves. At one point My seven year old daughter walked into the kitchen and gasped, "Those are beautiful!" They are aptly named!
|J. Callicarpa leaves and berries|
|Sorted berries, Pictures do not do that color justice!|
|Yummy pink goodness|
The resulting jelly I stored in a pint jar with the warning label as seen. My daughter is a jelly addict and would have been instantly attracted to that beautiful color. I wanted the adults to test it first. I ate about three tablespoons on the sourdough rolls I was baking that day. I also had my husband sample it and after 48 hours without any ill effect, I'm officially declaring for all the Internet to see that Japanese beautyberry berries are edible and tasty and make great jelly. So there!