August 31, 2010

Raspberry Season

Posted in Food, Garden, Recipes tagged , , , , at 8:17 pm by Liliana

Raspberries in Season

Raspberries in Season

Picking raspberries in late August is one of my favorite summer pastimes.

As a child, at the end of my summer vacations, I would walk with my grandparents along quiet country roads, carrying wicker baskets, and pick fruit from thorny raspberry bushes.

When my own children were little, I would take them to a raspberry farm outside our town. Everyone tied a plastic basket around their waist with a rope, and we would fan around the field. The boys mostly ate the berries, threw them at each other and played hide and seek. Very few berries made it to the bottom of their baskets. But Nena, Nicky and I usually worked hard to pick as much fruit as we could. Sometimes we had enough for freezing to eat with pancakes or vanilla ice cream during the winter months. A few times we picked enough to make jam, place it in pretty jars, and give it to friends at Christmas. Usually we had enough for luscious dessert that very evening.

Now, I mostly go picking raspberries with friends. I love the quiet laziness of late summer afternoons, as I stroll through the narrow paths between the bushes. Bees are buzzing everywhere, but there is plenty of fruit for us all, so we mostly ignore each other. I look for berries that will last for a day or two, ripe but not too soft.

The ones that are perfect at this very moment in time – deep red, faultlessly jewel like, delicately sweet – I pick slowly and carefully, bring to my mouth, and I close my eyes. Taste of summer.

Raspberry Jam

I found this delicious raspberry jam recipe at the Atlantic Magazine. It is very simple and requires only two ingredients: fruit and sugar. No pectin.

1. Take three cups of raspberries. Place in large pot and mash. Be sure the pot is much larger than the quantity of berries.

2. At the same time, place a large pot of water on to boil for sterilizing jam jars.

3. Heat the raspberry mash on the stove, stirring all the while. When the mash boils, let it boil for two minutes while stirring.

4. Add two cups of sugar. (If you like it more sweet, then add a total of three cups of sugar, but no more.)

5. Bring to boil again, stirring all the time. Boil for two minutes.

6. Remove from stove and mix with electric hand mixer for four minutes.

7. Pour into sterilized jars and close promptly. Let cool and place in the refrigerator.