Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Origin of Strawberries....a Native American Folktale

Soon after the Great Spirit created the first man and the first woman, they began to quarrel. Nobody remembers why, but because of it, the first woman ran away in great anger. Soon, the first man became very sad, and began to moan and weep. The Great Spirit heard his cries and felt sorry for him. "Would you like to see your wife again?" he asked. "If only she'd come back," the first man promised, "I'll never quarrel with her again!"

"Go find her, then," said the Great Spirit. The first man ran after her, but the first woman had too great a head start. So the Great Spirit created a huge patch of blueberries in her path, hoping she would stop to eat. But she was so angry, she didn't even slow down.

Next, he tried raspberries, then currants, and even blackberries. Although the thorns tore her clothes and scratched her, she kept going.

Finally, the Great Spirit created a new berry growing along the ground, and she slowed down to try one. It was so good, she stopped to pick more. That was how the first man finally caught up to her and apologized. They made up, and the strawberry is still shaped like a heart because it symbolizes the love of The First Man and The First Woman.
And Native people call it the heartberry.

July is Blueberry Month, unfortunately, I couldn't find any blueberry stories (if anyone knows of any tales with blueberries in them let me know). So, I figured a tale about berries of any kind, that at least mentioned blueberries, would do.

I've found some really simple recipes for jams that kids will love.

Easy No Cook Jam
2 cups of fresh berries, whatever kind you wish
1/3 cup of sugar
lemon juice, optional

  1. Use a potato masher to mash berries
  2. Sprinkle with sugar and let it sit out for half an hour.
  3. Stir.
  4. Add a little lemon juice if you wish.
  5. That's it! Your Jam will keep for approximately three days in the fridge.
This is a really quick and simple way to make jam in a microwave. I love it!

5 Minute Strawberry Jam – easy kids recipe
1-pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
2-tablespoons fruit pectin
1 teaspoon butter
1-cup sugar
2 8-ounce jelly jars

  1. In a medium sized bowl, crush the strawberries with a potato masher
  2. In a saucepan, combine the crushed strawberries, pectin, and butter.
  3. Stirring constantly, cook over medium-high heat, until the mixture boils.
  4. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  6. Pour the jam into the jars. Seal.
  7. Refrigerate until the jam is set, approximately 6 hours. 
  8. Keep jam refrigerated. It will keep for up to 3 weeks. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just popped over from Playing by the Book...storytelling, cooking, and kids - what a great combination!

Not sure what type of story you're looking for, but there is Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (a Caldecott Honer book in 1949).