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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Is That Raspberry Juice? Oh, I'm Just Bleeding

I'm stalling, I know. I still don't have vacation photos scanned so I can put them up.

How lucky I am to have so many beautiful fruits growing wild in my backyard.

Black raspberries from a couple of weeks ago and red raspberries today. This is 8 cups of red raspberries. If I can keep my greedy hungry neighbors out of the bushes, I'll have a few more cups in a couple of days.

I must admit I am a very determined berry picker. I wear one gardening glove to move the thorn-covered vines and keep one hand free to pick the delicate fruits without damaging them. One thing I never seem to remember is how many scrapes I receive from the thorns when I wear shorts to venture into the thickets. Bathing suit tops are not particularly protective either.

I guess I also forgot sunscreen.

Blackberries are beginning to ripen but I'm finding that many of them are quite bitter, even when they are fully black. I'm either picking them too soon or I simply have a skunky crop of blackberries.

Now that I have all of these beautiful berries... what do I do with them? There are too many to simply eat. I put the black raspberries in the freezer because we were leaving for vacation but I need to get them out and make something with them.

As for the red raspberries, I'll try my hand at making raspberry jelly later this week. If I fail, I've heard I'll have either raspberry syrup or raspberry jello. Either of those are fine, too. I'd like to find a recipe that uses fruit juice rather than sugar to add sweetness, so I guess I have some researching to do. Jars and gelatin will be purchased this week (hopefully tomorrow) and I'll post results, of course.

I'm open to suggestions for the next round of raspberries, including addresses to ship them to if I'm up to my eyeballs in raspberry jelly jars.

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