Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Judge Logan's Berries


Having grown up in a little town that had a historic figure who was named Logan, my eyes are trained to notice that name!  This Logan was the Civil War General John A. Logan.  I’m not writing about him, today!

My Logan today is James Harvey Logan who was born in Rockville, Indiana in 1841.  He moved to Santa Cruz, California where he was a judge.  He served as District Attorney in the 1870s and ten years later was elected by Democrats and Independents to the Superior Court and served ten more years as a judge.

Logan was in a perfect climate to practice his amateur botany!  He created the Loganberry by crossing a raspberry and a blackberry! This creation was an accident!  He planted his raspberries too close to some old blackberry plants!  The Loganberry tastes a little like a tart blackberry, but it is not as tart as a raspberry.  It makes wonderful jelly, jams and is easily frozen to use later for cobblers and pies.  Lots of sugar and a little lemon juice mellows out the flavor when used in pies and cobblers.

James Harvey Logan loved community.  In the 1870s, the Grove Lumber Mill was located nearby.  In 1900, Logan purchased the mill and created a Creekside resort, later owned by Dr. F K. Camp a Seventh-day Adventist physician, and was followed by many owners. It was closed in 2019 for renovations.   Logan’s Brookdale Lodge provided wonderful resort lodging and spa services to the rich and famous and was at one time, the second most popular in California.

In the early 1900s, Loganberries were being grown in Salem, Oregon.  By 1913, when Salem went ‘dry’, two factories began making juice from the berries and marketing it as the alternative to alcohol.  When Prohibition hit the United States, these two factories merged and began marketing nationally with ads that included ‘mocktail’ recipes using the Loju … Loganberry juice! 

Loganberries are grown in many places, but I seldom find them in my part of the Midwest. What I do have access to is wonderful Loganberry jam made by Mrs. Miller’s Jams, a company based in Fredericksburg, Ohio.  Of course, this jam is delicious on toast, French toast … and smeared on a biscuit!  Today, Miss Phoebe and I are going to have a supper of appetizers, and our star will be a creamy brie cheese topped with Loganberry jam and wrapped in puff pastry.  It is so easy to do this!


How to do it?

Thaw a package of puff pastry.  This won’t take but about 45 minutes.  Cut the end off the pastry so you have a square.  Place the brie cheese right in the middle and top it with about 1/4 cup of jam.  Sprinkle a few chopped nuts on top.  Dampen the corners of the pastry, then pull them up over the cheese.  Press them so they seal.  Brush the pastry with an egg wash.  You can sprinkle on more nuts if you’d like.  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let the package cool about ten minutes before serving.  Serve it with your favorite cracker and apple slices ... or just enjoy it with the pastry!

So good!


James Harvey Logan
Creator of Loganberries

This column is part of my 2021 project, Foods Named after Famous People!  Logan might not have been well known nation-wide, but he was certainly well known in Santa Cruz!  I’ll also post with a couple parties, so make sure you look at the short list on my sidebar.

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