What Do You Do with an Overabundance of... "Berries from Heaven"?

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What Do You Do with an Overabundance of... "Berries from Heaven"?

That was my blessed dilemma throughout the month of August, 2000. Captain HighJoy America lives on 3 acres of lush, organically grown clovers and grasses and thistles, supplemented with a bale of alfalfa a week in December, January, and February and a little grain from Valley Farm Feedstore. The owner, healthy and in his 80s, works full time. And they know me well at the store as the eccentric and exceedingly happy Skagit Valley gal! I went to school with Mr. Olson's son. He knew Victor. But I was never really sure that he actually liked me until one day, just out of the blue heaven, he offered me privileges to his berry patch! He decided not to bother with pickers this year, evidently. And the patch over an acre was virtually all mine! So, let me share with you a few... Raspberry Awakenings!

First of all, berries, aside from my childhood memories of countless, happy hours and indulgences, have always been likened, in my mind, to the SAD counterfeit of those costly, tiny supermarket bottles of flavoring extracts: it takes very little to add a high-punch flavor and aroma and color! Like these SAD-extract counterfeits, The Berries are costly, they are exceedingly flavorful, and they add not only an ambrosial aroma but splashing color to your dishes! And because they are so pricey, even at fruitstands or U-picks, I have never even thought about answering The Question is... "What Do You Do with The Berries When You Have So Many You Don't Know What to Do with Them All?" Well, this August, "Necessity Became The Mother of Invention!" And you harvest the answers as follows:

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#1... You Can Have Raspberries for Breakfast! If you are doing the picking, try feeling 6 years old again and go barefoot! It's amazing the stretching exercises you will get, reaching high and low and bending! And while you pick and you spy "The Perfect Berry," have it for breakfast, one after another!

#2... If you have a berry-eating animal living with you, give him "Raspberries for Breakfast," too! Captain HighJoy America loves raspberries. In fact, he loves all berries. In the summer, he can been seen standing in one loaded blackberry spot for an hour, daintily dining on one sun-ripened morsel at a time, releasing it from its stickery stem, then ending the dinner with a blackberry lipstick that lasts for hours!

#3... You Can Give Away Raspberries to Friends! This can be a full time job, so you will have to limit your time. Just know that when you come bearing berries, especially a huge pan that would sell for $20.oo at the store, the receiver lights up. And you are both blessed... "By God's Best!"

#4... Now for the practical suggestions... You Can Have Raspberries in The Freezer! I have a tiny freezer compartment. But I did prepare 3 quarts by simply washing them and simply blending at the lowest speed, stirring as I went, into a thick, raw raspberry jam adding absolutely nothing! What a deep, rich red jam it made and so sweet nothing needs to be added!

#5... You Can Have Raspberry Juice without The Seeds! This is "The Wildly Rich Suggestion!" When I went into Valley Farm to thank Mr. Olson, his wife was there, too! We had a lively conversation about "The Raspberries," especially when I was describing "the High entertainment value" they had provided me in watching my horse eat his 2 quarts for breakfast. Mrs. Olson asked me, however, if the seeds were not a bother? Then it dawned on me, I had never tried raspberry juice without the seeds, because raspberries were too expensive! Of course, the seeds are great fiber. But on our diet, we hardly need to seek out the fiber. So, I remembered how effective is The Champion Juicer, it will even extract "the straw" from the strawberry. And I went home to juice some raspberries! Here is the recipe for "WILD WASPBERRY JUICE": 4 limes, 1/4 cup shredded ginger, 3 cups


grapes, 4 quarts raspberries. In The large VITA-MIX container, liquefy at high speed the limes, ginger, and grapes. Pour half the mix into a 2nd VITA-MIX container. Now at the lowest speed, fill both containers with raspberries and churn just long enough to turn into pouring consistency. Now, pour this through The Champion Juicer, using the funnel. You never even need to use the plunger. It will just pour through, rather slowly, using the weight of gravity as the plunger. There is a terrific amount of waste, so pour "the pulp" through once or twice more. I stop and wash the strainer once or twice, as it is such a thick juice that it tends to clog. Now, you have a wildly tart, sweet taste! You can't tell me a cup of coffee or a carbonated soda pop is going to give you the kick this drink does! And... "It's Poison-Free, the Way God Intended It to Be!"

#6... You Can Have Raspberry Salads! Start with a bowl of raspberries. You can have it plain. You can add chopped nuts: a perfect combination. You can add other fruit. You can add chopped celery. You can serve it with lettuce. Raspberries are so fragile. All you have to do is stir the dish 5 - 10 times, and you have a jam. Slow blend the fragile berrIES, and you have a soup.

#7... You Can Freeze the Prepared Raspberry and Have a Fruit Sherbet or "Sorbét." Just a half cup of prepared raspberries, with or without other ingredients, in a smart container makes a great meal or light snack or fancy dessert or gourmet appetizer!

#8... You Can Make Raspberry Popsicles or Frozen Raspberry Creations! Your imagination sets the limits here! Delightful containers can be found in the 2nd hand stores for pennies!

#9... You Can Have Raspberry Smoothies, Raspberries Floats, Raspberry Shakes, Raspberry Ice Creams. The Smoothie is made by adding another soft fruit to your juice. The Float by adding Banana Ice Cream to your juice. The Shake by adding a nut milk to your sherbet. And The Ice Cream by putting the raspberry sherbet and frozen banana through The Champion.

#10... You Can Make Dried Fruit Creations! You can settle for the less imaginative "Fruit Leather," like you pay lots for in the health food stores. You can create cookies or tarts from fun-shaped drying containers. You can leave the seeds in or remove them. You can add other ingredients or leave them alone.


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