Soil and Cellar

Growing and preserving foods in Seattle


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Raspberry Picking

Raspberry-blueberry compote on waffles... an a-ok way to start a Sunday.

Raspberry-blueberry compote on waffles… an a-ok way to start a Sunday.

We woke up with a hankering to get out of the city. We planned to go on a hike, but I also wanted to tie in a trip to a fruit stand or farm. I’ve been SO busy this year and have barely had time to shop, let alone do any canning. Here I have 2 days to take on a small project or two, and I plan to take advantage!

Remlinger Farms berry picking... it was a gray day and I didn't get a great photo.

Remlinger Farms berry picking… it was a gray day and I didn’t get a great photo.

We decided to go “easy” and hit up Remlinger Farms, in Carnation, WA. It’s the big name berry farm out here, they sell berries and pies in all our grocery stores, they have a kids carnival area, and it’s pretty touristy. I was hoping they’d have flats of berries, but as we drove up saw they had raspberry picking, yay!

Picking boxes piled high... I guess it wasn't a very busy day at the farm.

Picking boxes piled high… I guess it wasn’t a very busy day at the farm.

It was kind of misty, and the berries were nearly at the end, but we found some great berries! There weren’t many easy pickins, but if you lifted branches or squatted down you could get a good selection.

There they are! Hiding...

There they are! Hiding…

Witness the bounty!

Witness the bounty!

After a half hour we had 2 pounds, which cost $4. A fun outing and cheap berries, works for me!

Here's our haul. The white bits aren't bad, just weird looking.

Here’s our haul. The white bits aren’t bad, just weird looking.

Not quite enough berries to make jam, and I’m not sure I have time to do that anyway. So instead, I froze most of them (to put on cereal, yum!)

I love my new refrigerator! It has the drawer freezer on the bottom, so I can now freeze in much larger batches than before.

I love my new refrigerator! It has the drawer freezer on the bottom, so I can now freeze in much larger batches than before.

and make a quick raspberry-blueberry compote for waffles this morning. Double yum!

Blueberries and raspberries cooked over medium heat, adding a little sugar if needed, basically until everything melts.

Blueberries and raspberries cooked over medium heat, adding a little sugar if needed, basically until everything melts. Eat on waffles!

I also got pickling cukes and late-season cherries, so I have a lot more projects to get to. Better get back to it!


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Tropical Fruit Compote

Waffle with butter and tropical fruit compote.

Waffle with butter and tropical fruit compote.

I love breakfast, but D and I are usually content with cereal and coffee. I reserve cooking big breakfasts for Sundays in the fall, because we watch football and it’s good to have sustenance for the long (and frequently painful) day. To make waffles even more delicious, I started making compote to go with them. Basically, I take whatever fruit I have and cook it down so it’s warm and sweet and gooey. Growing up, my mom always had applesauce and powdered sugar on her waffles, so that was my original inspiration.

For this morning’s waffles, all I had was a mango. I’ve never tried doing this with tropical fruits, but it sounded good. A bit later I looked in the fridge and saw I had a little leftover papaya and pineapple from a garden club meeting that I’d completely forgotten about. Ok, now things are getting interesting! At D’s suggestion, I squeezed a little orange juice to add more acidity. I’m not in love with papaya (unless I’m in Hawaii and it’s fresh, but then it’s another beast altogether) but this combo was fabulous.

The mango had already cooked for 5 minutes when I added the papaya and pineapple.

The mango had already cooked for 5 minutes when I added the papaya and pineapple.

Recipe

1 mango, chopped into 1/2” cubes
1/4 cup pineapple, chopped into ½” cubes
1/4 cup papaya, chopped into ½” cubes
Juice from half of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
sugar to taste, if needed

I start cooking the fruit before I start the rest of breakfast, so they are cooked by the time the waffles are done (and yes, I totally just use a waffle mix). Place fruits in a small saucepan, and cook, covered, over medium or medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. If the fruit are drying out, turn down the heat or add some liquid, like fruit juice. We cooked this uncovered for the last few minutes, to reduce the OJ.

Mmm... warm, sweet, and saucy!

Mmm… warm, sweet, and saucy!

The compote is done in 10-20 minutes, usually. Basically, you are looking for it to become a sort of lumpy sauce. But you can stop it whenever you feel it is done, or once the waffles are ready.

Serve warm on top of waffles, pancakes, French toast, toast, anything. You can still add maple syrup, but you don’t have to. Then get ready to feel like a fancy cook, it’s so delicious!

The finished product, ready to eat. Not only is it delicious, but this compote is truly beautiful!

The finished product, ready to eat. Not only is it delicious, but this compote is truly beautiful!

Variations:

– Apples, pear, or apples mixed with pear. Pear doesn’t break down as well as apples, so bear this in mind and chop them the size you want them to be at the end.

– Peaches, a little sugar, lemon, and cinnamon. It’s like peach pie!

– Cherries with a splash of bourbon (I haven’t tried this, but I’m fantasizing about it for next weekend).

– Strawberries, or any other berries.

All these fruits cook differently, so trial and error is your friend. But I will say, there are very few errors, unless you’re concerned with the way it looks (why?). They will all be delicious.