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It worked! Freezing the entire bag of astel/paju (sea buckthorn) berries as they had been purchased (haljal oksal, "on the leafy branch"), resulted in the bright orange C-vitamiin rich marjad literally popping off their asteldega (thorny) branches, as opposed to becoming lömastatud (smushed). Buying them in this puhastamata "uncleaned" state meant a better price. 5 € for a 1 kilogram bag. And cutting the bushes back encourages them even more. They're a tough lot – kanged. Photo: Riina Kindlam 

 

A nipp is a kaval võte, nõks or trikk, sneaky know-how that you are not aware of until you happen to be lucky enough to read about it or hear a pearl of wisdom. A pärl was pistetud (stuck) in my ear at the Kirjandus/ tänava (Literature Street) Festival last laupäev on Koidula Street in Kadri/org by none other than the editor of this aja/lehtKärt Ulman. She told me to freeze the boughs first. The growers selling the berries at the gurmee/turg (gourmet market) in the hoov(courtyard) of Kohvik NOP then suggested I dry the astel/paju's leaves and use them for tee! I had no idea, what a great nipp! The leaves are greyish and narrow and reminiscent of those of an

olive tree.

 

"Insider tip (aka a nipp!) – sea buckthorn leaves: the oftforgotten side of this powerful plant. Sea buckthorn leaves are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, at the level you'll find in green tea or rooibos. The minerals in the leaves are calcium and magnesium," writes aylabeauty.com.

 

My friend Mari-Liis piped in that she rolls astel/paju/oksad (the berry-laden woody branches)  between her hands while wearing töö/kindad (work gloves) to snap off the frozen berries. They are a far cry from sweet wild strawberries – they're tremendously tart and have been described as having a "musty sour tang", as well as being an all around "ridiculously frustrating fruit" (The Irish Times). But that won't stop kids from tossing them into smoothies or morning puder (porridge) in their jäätunud(frozen) state. They melt quickly and burst, turning the pudera cheerful oranž. It's a good nipp to know.

 

Riina Kindlam,

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