August 5, 2011

Favourite Friday: Raspberries

Who doesn't love a nice sun warmed raspberry fresh off the plant? (after being inspected for bugs of course)  One of my favourite summer pleasures are raspberries.  I pick a lot of raspberries every season, pounds and pounds of them in fact. No-spray of course, from a friend of a friend and the rest from a U-pick farm.  Never mind the thorns and spiders webs haunting the shade of the tall plants, I'll muscle my way through them for raspberries.

Once we get the berries home the real fun begins. (cough!)  I wash every single berry gently.  Most of them end up IQF in my freezer awaiting a winter's day when I could really use a bit of sunshine.  I blend them up in smoothies (my favourite flavour) and mix them with apples in crisp, and with pears in pandowdies.  Quite a few end up in jams and jellies and mixed with my other summer favourites like peaches and champagne. I've tried drying raspberries in the dehydrator with limited success, I need to work on this some more.
The house we're moving into next door has established raspberries bushes that have been very neglected, my next order of business is figuring out how to prune and train these runaway vines, I'd like to see them produce a lot next year.  They are such beautiful little berries and their juicy pop in my mouth exhilarates me every time.  I don't even mind the little seeds that get stuck in my teeth!  Since their season is almost over I've been fearing the end.  Every time I see them I get a little more scared.  What if I didn't save enough!?

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