21 February, 2010

Vintage Sunday: Killingworth Cranberries

Connecticut has never been a huge player in the cranberry industry, and I have to admit that until my sister Fran gave me this cool little late-1950s cookbook, I had no idea that cranberries had been commercially harvested in Killingworth, a small town south of Middletown on CT Route 81.

A little bit of research revealed that a cranberry bog on Pond Meadow Road in Killingworth has been tended by the Evarts family since Cyrus Evarts first purchased the land and planted cranberries in 1896.. 

Today, the Evarts family still raises cranberries in a small, 3-acre bog.  The berries are packaged and sold locally at Bishop's Orchards farm market in Guilford, CT.

Here are a couple of the more unusual recipes from this 16-page bookel:

Cranberry Marbles

2 cups sugar
2 cups water

When boiling add 1 pound Killingworth Brand Cranberries. Cover and set back 5 minutes.  Then put on to cook 5 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool with cover on. Don't open the lid.

Steamed Cranberry Pudding

2 cups Killingworth Brand Cranberries
1 1/3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cmace
2 teaspoons soda
1/3 cup hot water
½ cup molasses

Halve cranberries; add to flour, salt, spices and soda. Combine hot water and molasses; blend with first mixture.  Transfer to well greased pudding mold. Cover and steam for 2½ hours. Unmold; serve with your favorite sauce.

Bishop's Orchards - Location, hours, and information about the farm stand, orchards, and winery at Bishop's.

The Evarts family does not maintain a website for their cranberry production.


Battle Park said...

This is so weird, Dave.

Just today, about 3 hours ago, I learned about the Killingworth bog after a circuitous search (Wiki Nature Centers in CT, one on Roast Meat Road in Killingworth, search about that road name that has made me chuckle everytime I pass it on the way to Hammonassett, then to the bog.)

I even sent along a note about it to a couple friends - I believe you can pick up to a puond there, if you're a Kil resident.

I also believe there is another cranberry bog in Portland, but no picking is allowed.

Dave said...

Steve:The bog on Pond Meadow Road used to all belong to the Evarts family. Now there's some kind of housing development there, and a nature conservancy devoted to preserving the bog, and the three acres where the Evarts still commercially raise cranberries.

The Killingworth Land Conservation Trust takes care of the public cranberry bog, called the Pond Meadow Natural Area. There is indeed an annual public harvest where residents can pick up to a pound of cranberries for free.

I've always wondered about how Roast Meat Hill Road got it's name. I need to do some research into that.