Sunday, July 10, 2016

Raspberry Fields Forever

Yesterday was just another day.  Or was it?

It was the birthday of two people I know.

It was my cousin's birthday.  I haven't seen her in nearly 13 years, and her career choice keeps her overseas a lot of the time.  I hope she had a happy day yesterday.   And for another person, who has spent a lot of her life helping others, I hope it was a good celebration.

But, for still another person, a member of a Facebook group I've belonged to for several years, yesterday was the end of her time here.  She left our world yesterday, all too soon, another life taken by cancer.

All the more, I am reminded that every day of our lives is a gift.  Whatever each day brings in opportunity, it is our responsibility to take advantage of those gifts. Learn. Observe.  Do something to help a fellow traveler on this planet. Or take advantage of the bounty of nature.

Yesterday, there were so many gifts in my life.  My spouse and I ate out at a local orchard (more on that later in the week), and then went raspberry picking.
In the stores, raspberries are so expensive.  They are fragile, and they don't last long.  But if you are able to pick them yourself, they are a treat.  Some years, the crop doesn't last long.  This year, however, it's a bumper crop.

So red and ripe (the white blobs are the cores left from raspberries already picked - the raspberry is hollow in the middle).  If you have never picked, here is a crash course:

The berry should come right off of the white core without a wrestling match.  If the raspberry is reluctant to fall into your hand, move onto the next one.  If it is too ripe (it would have turned purple), do not take it, either.  Raspberries will not last long, especially if they are overripe.

Examine the berry for mold.  Unfortunately, if it rains, ripe raspberries will mold right on the plant.

And use bug spray, because you will need it.

And most importantly, take someone you love to pick with you.  Some things are better not done alone.

Raspberry fields forever.
After you've picked, you've returned home with your raspberries, now what?

You can eat them fresh, over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

You can make a raspberry vinegar, which my spouse does, but I need to get a recipe from him.

You can make raspberry quick jam (noting this is a refrigerator jam, and won't keep long).  But my jam making days are over (at least for now).

You can put them on a cookie sheet, one raspberry thick (don't pile them), and put them in the freezer.  As soon as they freeze, put into freezer bags and store in the freezer.  You can use them like fresh in many recipes.

Or you can make raspberry applesauce, which I ate with my breakfast yesterday morning at the orchard restaurant.  I decided to try to duplicate it at home.   I hope to blog more about in the next few days.  I will have my homemade version today with breakfast.

Starting today, in addition to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I am participating in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #5, a seven day blogging challenge.

Both are communities for bloggers from all over the world to gather, and to share.  After reading my post, why not visit other fellow bloggers and see what they have to offer?

Do you like raspberries?  How do you like to eat them?

14 comments:

  1. Yeah, each day here is a gift. I have seen only strawberries, they look more or less similar to raspberries. Nice pictures of them.

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  2. I love raspberries! We grow our own, so I've been enjoying them. The blackberries are getting ripe now, so that's an enjoyable task for today!

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  3. Wow, the raspberry fields and the yummy treats you described sound amazing! I have never has raspberries as such but we do get it in jams, jellies and ice-creams here in India. And yes, I agree some activities are best done with someone you love!

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  4. Thanks for commenting on my blog. It meant a lot.

    I'm a vegetable person who buys fruit and it spoils---though I hope I'm getting better about it.

    Would love the recipe for rasberry vinegar as I'm a vinegar person!

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  5. I love your posts Alana. They take me to a world I have never thought of. Plucking raspberries - very cool. Something I would love to try if given a chance.
    On your day, I am sorry for your loss. You are right that we need to be grateful for our life.

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  6. There are moments when one realises what a great gift life! You are so lucky for having the chance to go raspberry picking...They look so delicious!! It must be a wonderful experience.

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  7. Our raspberries are starting to come on. So I picked our patch and got about half a gallon.
    Coffee is on

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  8. What a beautiful post that reminds us to value the gift of love we have, and to value the simplicity of life!

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  9. When I lived in Arkansas I always had to wear my "snake boots" to pick raspberries! Now in Idaho you have to battle the bears to get the huckleberries. I've never heard of raspberry applesauce. It sounds delicious! Great post Alana. :)

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  10. I do admire your fortitude in taking on all these blogging challenges. Good luck with them.

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  11. So sorry for the loss. Yes, life is an uncertain journey. Wnjoy each day and each moment.

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  12. I think I've only ever had raspberries in smoothies.

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  13. My hubby's late grandmother was well known in the town of Belfast, Maine, for her raspberry jam! She picked her own from the abundant wild raspberry bushes growing in their backyard. We still have the last small canning jar of hers, with her label on it, from the last batch of jam she made before she passed away.

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