Tag Archives: raspberries

Seeing Red

By: Mary

This is the time of year in which I see lots or red. Seeing red comes from the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that are wonderful to enjoy in many forms. In the midst of this wave of color, I get creative!

Currents and Raspberries just need a little sugar…

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The guidance of a trusty cookbook is also helpful to create one heck of a flavorful crisp!

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Raspberries are a favorite fresh fruit.

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Thinking ahead for the months of winter, making berries into jam is an important preparation during August and September.

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Keeping up with the harvest of tomatoes is always a challenge due in part to such a high cull percentage. As someone who wants to save the world and feels guilty over the crisis of global hunger finding a way to not waste the bounty that each vine produces can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many fantastic ways tomatoes can be enjoyed and preserved.

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Gazpacho is an ideal solution to using large quantities of tomatoes. This cold soup  is bursting with flavor and and is super healthy. One cup of ripe raw tomatoes provides a great source of vitamins A, C, K, folate, and potassium, along with the added benefit of being low in calories. Among other added benefits to eating tomatoes, one cup also keeps your blood sugar in balance. Plus, Tomatoes are packed with beta-carotene. This Spanish soup offers a solution to use more produce than simply tomatoes as it also calls for other tasty in season produce such as cucumbers, peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs. 

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Because I love this soup, and because I worry about starving people, and wasting rotting tomatoes, I am more than happy to share my recipe for gazpacho. Give it a try, you might just love it, and remember that sometimes seeing red is a good thing!

Gazpacho (also known as sooo much better than V8)

4 cups tomato juice, fresh
4 or 5 large tomatoes, grilled, seeded and chopped (preferably heirloom)
2/3 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder, toasted
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
2/3 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed
3 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, fresh, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste

PREPARATION
1. Place the tomato juice and diced tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Combine all of the vegetables and spices in a large bowl and mix to thoroughly incorporate.

3. Stir in the vegetable stock and lime juice. Add in the fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the tomato mixture to the bowl and mix to combine.

5. Refrigerate the gazpacho for 1 hour and be sure to give it a stir before serving.

Autumn Bliss in a Jam Jar

By: Mary

After getting home from Pittsburgh the other afternoon, I went out to check on the raspberries and picked until dark. Tending to the two 60 yard rows is a responsibility that I enjoy. I like the thinning and pruning that it takes to maintain them. Weeding is not as much fun, but I don’t mind that either. However, the task of picking and making jam are what I really love to do. The silence and the sun delights me when I am lost in a world of my very own while harvesting the berries. It’s no joke that the berries plant variety name is Autumn Bliss. 

The process of making jam is much  less mellow, and much more messy. It’s a blood red and sugar textured messy!

It’s a bubbly boiling session of chaos, but well worth it.

I don’t really have an exact recipe that I follow. Though, the Ball Blue Book of preserving has been a handy resource in the past. However, they don’t give out any formulas on how to keep a tidy kitchen while jamming.

I am a big believer that when on a job, one should take an afternoon snack break.

My brothers are big connoisseurs of my jam. They like to take it to college with them. It’s a staple favorite in the house too. This means that I need to start making a lot more batches. I wish there were more rainy Saturday afternoons like today…