Sunday, July 5, 2015

The amazing black raspberry

Nowhere in nature is there a flavor that can compare with the  black raspberry. I was not even aware they existed until I bought this property in Southeast Ohio, and found them growing wild here. The season is 1st week in June to 1st week in July.

You have to get deep into the thickets, and the thorns cut you up pretty bad. Plus all the bug bites, poison ivy and related nasties. The multiflora is deadly, a horribly invasive non-native bush. Seems like it's thorns have thorns! But all this is totally worth it.

This bucket full is about 12 cups. But it is only half the "yard" (places that I pick). So doing the back half nets another full bucket. This vein of berry plants runs parallel to the road. I used to go walking up the road and pick too, but it is too much for me now, so I just stay on my own property. And believe me it is plenty!

This year may be the best ever. They are huge! And perfect, and so prolific. I freeze them in 4 cup batches because seems like all the things I make from them require 4 cups of berries.

I take 4 cups of berries, a little water, a cup of sugar and cook it. From here so many wonderful things can be made, all with this mind blowing flavor.

Like ice cream and popsicles.

Ice cream cones.

And pie with home made whipped cream. This is just incredible!

Here is a wonderful slushy drink I made up. I made 2 ice cube trays of berry juice, put the cubes in the blender. Then the 4 cups cooked and strained berry juice, the juice of a lemon, a little milk, and my secret ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. (is it just me or does anyone else want to eat this stuff right out of the can haha) I put  1/3 to 1/2 the can in. Then blend. Amazing!

These berries make the most fantastic wine! No water or yeast, I just smash the berries in a bucket and let it sit lightly covered for a week, Strain and add sugar, the amount depending on how much juice you get. Put it under airlock and when the bubbling stops, bottle it. Making it this way it is thick like a liqueur. So good! Just berries and sunshine :) I also used to make it with water and yeast the conventional way and that is very good also. That way it is definitely a wine.

Tomorrow if I'm not rained out, I will go for  the last pick of the 2015 season......always kinda sad....But- I have so much in the freezer!