A member of the cypress family, junipers (genus Juniperus) produce an unusual cone that ends up looking like a fruit; this "fruit" is known as a juniper berry. Juniper berries start off green, but ripen to a blue-black color. Ripening can take up to three years. These ripe berries are bitter and astringent, so juniper berries aren't eaten off the tree; rather, they're added to recipes during cooking. Trees and shrubs are usually male or female, so you need more than one to get a crop of berries. Junipers are evergreens.
Prepare your marinade or sauce as you normally would, but replace each bay leaf with four berries. Since venison, boar, pork, duck and goose take well to juniper, marinades and sauces intended for these meats are a natural fit for the berry.
Add six berries per pound of meat to the water for boiled ham. You might increase that to about six berries per half-pound of meat if you enjoy the taste.
Add three to four berries to the water for boiled whole cabbage.
Bring a cup of water to a boil.
Crush about 12 berries with the flat of a knife blade.
Take the water off the heat, and add the berries.
Steep 10 minutes.
Strain the water into the tea cup or mug.
Add honey to taste.
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