Method

Although this jam does not look very attractive, it is tasty nonetheless and especially pleasing to someone recovering from an illness. For 1 lb of picked-over red bilberries [Vaccinium vitis-idaea], * use 4 sweet apples. Peel, slice, and core the apples, removing all the seeds. Dissolve lbs sugar in glasses water. Cook the lingonberries until half done in this syrup, and then add the sweet apples. Lemon zest or lemon peel boiled in water may also be added.

*These small, wild, red berries are called cowberries, red bilberries, or red whortleberries in England. Since none of those names is much used in America, I will settle for the marginally more familiar Scandinavian name, lingonberries. Like Molokhovets, the Russians today value these berries as much for their healing properties as for their taste. In folk medicine, the berries are used as a diuretic and the dried leaves are made into a hot tea to alleviate rheumatism and other illnesses. (See Forsell, Berries, 102–104; Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World, 588; Dzhangaliev and Rodionov, Dary prirody, 79–81; and Dudchenko and Krivenko, Plodovye i jagodnye rastenija—tseliteli, 35–36.)

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