♥ Raspberries ♥ I so look forward each summer to the delicate texture and intense flavor of just-picked raspberries. And now they’re here. The first of this summer’s raspberries are ripening on the vine and ready for picking. A very dear friend graciously shares her most prolific raspberry patch with a few friends. When she emailed me the other day suggesting I come over and pick raspberries, my reply was an immediate “Yes.”
I arrived to find an unexpectedly large number of ripe and ripening berries. First things first (after I took a few photographs), I savored my first berries of the summer. Big, deep crimson, tender and juicy berries warmed by the sun. Delicious.
We picked for perhaps an hour. Blue cloudless skies with a gentle breeze to keep us cool. Afterward we sat down in the partial shade of nearby pine trees—a most perfect summer afternoon.
These first berries require little or no adornment. I prefer them au naturel in order to more easily delight in their flavor, texture and fragrance. I’ll eat a few as I pick them. Knowing that soon enough a bowlful of these delicate crimson berries will become dinner.
As ripe raspberries become more plentiful throughout the next month, I might make some raspberry jam lightly sweetened with honey. Then, if lucky enough to have a really bountiful harvest, I’ll freeze some for a mid-winter treat.
♥ For the best raspberries ♥
- If you have to tug at a raspberry, it isn’t ready to be picked. Ripe raspberries separate easily from the vine, leaving their core behind.
- Gently lift the branches and look underneath the leaves. Lots of beautiful berries are hidden low and in the middle of the bushes.
- Be choosy. Once picked, raspberries do not continue ripening.
- Raspberries still warm from the sun have incomparable fragrance and flavor.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants to avoid getting scratched by the brambles.
- Wear a hat if it’s the middle of the day. You’ll have so much fun picking, you can easily forget the time and get sunburned.
- Place the delicate berries in shallow containers as they easily crush.
- Raspberries keep longer under refrigeration than at room temperature.
A Bowlful of Fresh Raspberries
Simply delicious on their own, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Though, of course, you could also sprinkle raspberries on yogurt and drizzle them with honey, toss them into muffin or pancake batter, place them on a tart, swirl them into smoothies, purée them into sorbet, cook them into jam or freeze them whole.