Fill of Berries

I made my annual pilgrimage out to the farm for raspberries last week.  Beautiful day for picking – sunny and not too warm.  A little muggy from the big rain the two days before but after our dry summer, I am NOT complaining about rain.

Since I was the first one out in the field, they stationed me at the far southeast corner of the biggest patch of canes.  Pretty shortly after, they started to put someone opposite me (on the other side of the line of cane I was working on) and she protested that she didn’t want “to be near anybody else”.  I told her I didn’t take it personally and that I had a mask in pocket if needed.  She moved on to another line.

An older couple were then placed opposite of me.  They didn’t even look toward me and so I knew there wasn’t going to be any chatting.  (This turned out to be OK because pretty soon a VERY chatty woman started picking two lines away and even thought she was speaking to the folks near her, I could hear her clearly!) 

I expected that the couple across from me would move ahead of me fairly quickly.  Two people picking together are always faster than just one.  Except this time!   The gentleman stayed pretty even with me and the woman lagged behind.  This was so different from what I usually experience that I started to pay a little more attention to them.  The woman was digging thoroughly through the canes, clearly searching for every single viable berry she could find.  The gentleman was not as thorough.  I soon realized that another reason they were slow was the amount of time spent moving their hands from the canes to their mouths.  The farm does encourage folks to taste while they pick, but this couple was taking it to new heights.  They quit picking before I did with less than a flat of picked berries and I’m sure it’s because they were full! 

So far I’ve made my freezer jam, added raspberries to pancake batter and, of course, enjoyed fresh raspberry shortcake!

How do you like your raspberries?

66 thoughts on “Fill of Berries”

  1. In my early years my home town had something that later disappeared: undeveloped lots. Almost no housing was built in America in the Thirties (because of the Depression) or early 40s (because we were at war). Right after the war there was a housing shortage crisis. Developers rushed to build new homes. Since urban landscapes were divided legally into square or rectangle plots, when I was a kid we saw empty lots where there was not yet a home but soon would be.

    Undeveloped lots could look like grassy lawns without houses, but more typically they were overgrown with tall weeds of all sorts. The undeveloped lots near my home after the war filled up with horseweeds (or that was the name used then) and raspberry canes.

    The raspberry canes just east of my first home in Ames supported big, fat berries . . . big enough that even a ravenous kid would eat them one at a time. The berries were plump and very close to round. All the raspberries I’ve encountered since then were smaller and less sweet. I guess it is nice to have experienced something wonderful, such as those spectacular raspberries, but it seems a little sad that raspberries were a peak experience for me when I was six, and it’s all been downhill since then. 😦

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am a serious jam person. I discovered about four years ago that my raspberry jam on the hot chili cheese bread that I get in Madison is just the best! I bought four loaves of chili cheese bread when I was in Madison in July. I still have two in the freezer but now I’m thinking I need to take one out, thaw it and slather it with jam!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. WP is tantruming today. This is a second attempt at a reply.

        My raspberry/chili jam has developed a family fan base. The combination of the two is a great match. I grow Fresno chilis which are the right amount of chili heat—less than jalapeño, more than Anaheim.

        Ok, now hit post.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Peanut butter/Raspberry preserve sandwich.
    The budgies enjoy the combination but they get it without the bread. With a little millet sprinkled as an inducement, they will stick their faces into the goop and come out looking like infants who have fed themselves. But, unlike babies, they wipe their own faces clean.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Regular red raspberries have never done much for me. I don’t remember if mom had any as I was growing up, and I dont remember her doing jam. I remember the big pressure cooker, in fact that’s out in the machine shed, but I just don’t remember making jam. I must not have been around for that. Kelly and I planted a few raspberries after we got married. But those canes take over everything eventually.
    The wild black raspberries pop up anywhere that isn’t mowed it seems. And those we really like. In yogurt, or on top of ice cream.
    I’ve never made jam or jelly (what’s the difference?)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “It must be jelly, cuz jam don’t shake like that”

      Jelly is typically made from juice and no pulp. It is often clear and jewel like and has lots of sugar. Jam has pulp and juice.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Folks out here make chokecherry jelly. Our natve friends like Buffalo berries, which are largish orange berries. We planted red currants, but they are such a pain to pick we leave them for the birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Apparently, The Raspberries were hard for some concert goers to take. I did not eye witness this but the pop band, The Raspberries featuring Eric Carmen, played at the Red River Valley Fair at West Fargo in the early 70s. Lead singer, Carmen,
    was dressed in a pure white jump suit. I personally didn’t care much for their music but would never have thrown ripe raspberries with accuracy at a white-suited singer. Somebody did.
    Giving someone the “raspberry” was literally done. As I recall, the event ended right then and there.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I’ve never made either jam or jelly, but husband loves to make jam. Ginger peach is his favorite, but he makes strawberry rhubarb, and raspberry jam as well. I rarely touch it. My favorite is bitter orange. One of my friends makes it, and it’s wonderful, but a small jar lasts me a year, that’s how little I eat of it.

    I like my raspberries straight off the vine, but not well enough to put up with the vines in my garden. They’re too damn prickly and invasive.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. The simplest way to enjoy raspberries is to sugar them lightly in a bowl, give them a little time to produce juice, and then spoon them over vanilla ice cream. The juice turns the ice cream a lovely deep pink. Nothing better.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Those big plump raspberries Steve was talking about… we would find a few of those in our Back 40 patch in Robbinsdale… most of those never made it inside. Husband would make jam, but I like them as Linda mentioned. Unfortunately here, the raspberries haven’t produced well – they’re right outside our front door, adjacent to Neighbor’s driveway – either the soil needs help, or they just need a wilder space.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Black caps are also called bramble berries, a small black berry that grows on wild vining plants. I think of brambles as ankle grabbers – they arch over and touch the ground and root at the tips, making them a hazard in the garden. Cultivated raspberry canes don’t do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. OT (But I can shoehorn the topic in)
    Tonight, I’ll be attending the Minnesota AAA St. Paul Saints baseball game against the Cleveland AAA Columbus Clippers. I’m going to buy and wear a Twins cap. Maybe there will be raspberries blown in my direction.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This is my FOURTH attempt at posting this. Good Grief WP.

    1. Raspberry Liqueur
    2. Raspberry-chili pepper jam
    3. Raspberry jam
    4. Raspberry pie
    5. Raspberry-Peach (melba) cobbler
    6. Pick and eat with red stains on face.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Don’t like taste of raspberries. In woods around our house were a few kinds of berries my mother would preserve: strawberry, raspberry, chokecherry, pincherry. We kids would eat the thimbleberries but she did not use them. My mother and sister and I would go out picking or just Cleo and I. Hated picking. Later we would go up into superior forest to pick blueberries. Do not like blueberries nor does my wife or son. Taste acrid to me. In nature raspberries like to grow in old brush preferring old brush piles, which makes them no fun to pick, walking on the brush, which sometimes would collapse underfoot. Wild raspberries are more thorny. Lots of scratches which got no sympathy from our mother. On the meantime she cultured a large tame strawberry patch and several rows of raspberry canes, and Cleo would pick and sell the berries.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not an adventuresome picker. Only pick at established berry farm (in fact the same one for the last 10+ years) and only strawberries and raspberries. Picked blueberries just once and that cured me of that. Now if I make blueberry jam, I use berries from Aldis!

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      1. Although we have picked strawberries and raspberries in the past, now blueberries are the only berry we pick (this year we went twice). Blueberries, at least where we pick them, are easier and more pleasant to pick than either raspberries or strawberries and have more flavor than the grocery store ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Every time we’ve gone strawberry picking, even when we went to different places, there was a guy in a hat who stood at the end of the rows with a stick. Why is that? Is that your experience?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve never had a guy stand at the end of a row with a stick. The place where I go, they give you a white flag and you have to stick the flag in the ground wherever you stop.

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  12. The beautiful Brule River in NW Wisconsin features a long stretch that remains lovely and pristine (many argue) because it is owned by a handful of extremely wealthy folks who maintain log cabin mansions facing the river. Because of features of the river and because of all those rich folks protecting their property, the prettiest parts of that river are safe from degradation and unfortunate development that might otherwise blight the Brule.

    When my erstwife and I clerked in a fly fishing shop in Brule, someone told us about a secret trail that would give us access to the prime water without spending four hours in a canoe to do it the usual way. So one afternoon we grabbed our fly gear and, wearing chest waders, took off on this secret trail.

    We ended up stumbling for hours through a swamp, a forest and finally a cane-covered hillside. Bugs found us, the canes cut up our skin and still we were mired in a green jungle flanking the river. Then we noticed that we were struggling through a raspberry patch several acres big. Ravenous, we tore into the raspberries like a couple of September bears desperate to lay on fat for hibernation.

    About then one of the wealthy residents noticed us and sent a groundskeeper to chase us off the property. (Have you ever been evicted by a “groundskeeper”? It was a first for me. Most places where I trespass have guards or cops or security agents, not groundskeepers.)

    When he arrived to say we were trespassing on private property, he found us sweating, exhausted and cut to ribbons. I think he meant to deliver a long speech about property rights, but one look at us was enough to convince him we would not be repeating our offense. We never got to the water and never caught a fish, but the memory of the raspberries is still sweet.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I mean, the eviction wasn’t 3.48 am. That time of day, I’d have been shot, then evicted into a river somewhere.

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      1. As a pheasant hunter, I’ve been chased off private land several times. It happens. You have permission to hunt on some land, but then you encounter barbed wire fences and you can’t be sure you are hunting where you were told you could hunt. The boundaries of private farmland are not marked with signs, or not always. This happens a lot on Indian reservations because there are often conflicting theories about who has the legal right to grant access to some lands.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. My grandmother and her sister were little girls in 1906, when they were picking berries in a wooded area outside of Hamburg, Germany, and a uniformed man stopped them, dumped out the berries, and told them they were trespassing on land that belonged to the Kaiser. My grandmother was still angry about that 90 years later (she lived to be 99).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Abuses by Central European leaders created deep distrust and hatred. Our family story of feelings towards the leaders of Central Europe indicates much anger and hatred. I am descended from two Belgian/German men who were conscripted as 14 year olds by Fiefdoms of the period, then sold to the English as mercenaries to fight in the American Revolution. They then switched sides to become American Citizens. This practice and abuse of power led my Third Great Grandfather in Wurtenburg (now Germany) to send all seven of his sons and daughters to the US from 1850-1858, to get them out of reach of the local authorities. Then my Great Great Grandfather, inspired by Lincoln, signed up to fight in the Civil War for the North. He received a scorching letter from his father about “selling himself after all I sacrificed to send you to freedom from conscription.” They hated those local leaders.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. 9-2
        Met a couple from Saint Paul.
        Sat in the first row right next to the Saints dugout. My buddy had his three years old grandkid, Hunter, with us. The attendant told us that the grandkid would be getting a ball. He described the Minnesota team as exceptional nice. I left for a few minutes and while going back down to the seats, the attendant informed me that Hunter had indeed gotten a ball. No one else was in our row. By the third inning, Hunter had four balls. He gave three away to other fans. There is Minnesota Nice and also Ohio Nice.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Do your Saints have a theme tune? When the Saints soccer team from Southampton marches in, guess what tune is played.

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  13. I do have opinions about the proper way to pick raspberries, or, more accurately, the proper raspberries to pick. The woman of the couple you’re describing was probably overpicking. A ripe raspberry is very easy to pick; you can see a little gap between the berry and its cap all the way around, and it peels away !rom its cap without effort If it’s underripe, it is tightly attached to the cap and has to be wrenched away. I get annoyed with people who don’t recognize that just because a berry is a little bit red, that doesn’t mean it is ready to be picked.

    Liked by 1 person

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