Ages ago, before computers and gel pens and bottled inks, people made dyes and inks from plant pigments. The thinking probably went something like this: if it stains my fingers I can probably use it to draw, paint, write or dye something.
Cranberries, like blueberries, cherries and other fruits, produce finger-staining juice that works well for making ink. But you might have noticed that they're not as soft as other berries. Drop a strawberry on the floor and it bruises. Drop a cranberry and it bounces.
What you need:
cranberries - a cup will do
strainer and wooden spoon
salt and vinegar - about 1/2 teaspoon each
What to do:
1. Before you make cranberry sauce, put a cup of the cranberries into the freezer. This will help them release their juice.
2. When you remember them, take the cranberries out of the freezer. Let them thaw in a strainer placed over a bowl.
3. Use a wooden spoon to squash the cranberries against the strainer, forcing the juice out.
4. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of vinegar to help keep your ink (or dye) from fading.
Now use your ink to write a letter or make potato prints or paint a
You can use other berries, too. Staghorn sumac berries grace the
tips of branches of the trees lining my road. They're a nice red color. I
wonder if I can make ink out of them...
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