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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Raspberry-Chipotle Jam with the Ladies’ Preservation Society

Raspberries from the Farmer's Market, one of my favorite things!

Raspberries from the Farmer’s Market, one of my favorite things!

Oh my! I can’t believe it’s taken me two weeks to post this! The Ladies Preservation Society met two weeks ago, how late can I be? Well, let’s not waste any more time…

Peel the lemon (get as little white part as possible), slice the peel, and juice the lemon.

Peel the lemon (get as little white part as possible), slice the peel, and juice the lemon.

For our July meeting, it was a friend’s turn to choose a recipe. She thought up the idea to do a raspberry and chipotle jam, and was surprised to find there already was a recipe for it online. Well, as they say, there is nothing new under the sun. So we went out to the farmer’s market on the most gorgeous day to collect our fruit.

Slicing the chipotle pepper. You also add some of the adobo sauce from the can.

Slicing the chipotle pepper. You also add some of the adobo sauce from the can.

Part of the fun of the Ladies’ Preservation Society is the chance to make foods we might not normally have the time or the creativity to do ourselves. I didn’t know what to expect from this recipe. Sweet and smoky isn’t a flavor combination I’m used to. But, sweet/salty or sweet/savory are huge right now, and I’m a big fan of those for sure. The recipe contains lemon juice, lemon peel, roasted garlic, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce, in addition to the fruit and sugar.

Everything in the pot, ready to cook.

Everything in the pot, ready to cook.

Also, this is a no pectin recipe. The only other time I’ve made jam without pectin was quite the saucy failure. So this was a good opportunity for me to take a backseat and learn something new. (As the perennial hostess of these parties and selector of recipes, I’m often the leader. This was a wonderful change!)

We did end up mashing the mixture, as the raspberries were taking a while to fall apart.

Action shot! We did end up mashing the mixture, as the raspberries were taking a while to fall apart.

This was found over at Jules Food, here’s the recipe.

It’s a long recipe, and we followed it closely, so I won’t repost it here. We didn’t have a candy thermometer, so we went by testing the set. It ended up taking us much longer (35 or 40 minutes rather than the 10-15 she suggests) to get a good set. It was a hot day, and I was glad to have the 3 of us, so we could take turns stirring.

Another action shot, look at that swirl! This is after it was cooking for awhile, you can tell it's starting to look like jam.

Another action shot, look at that swirl! This is after it was cooking for awhile, you can tell it’s starting to look like jam.

The end result is a little quirky for me, like more sweet than savory but with a smoky aftertaste. The raspberry flavor is really great, and at first that’s all you taste. Then comes the sort of garlic and chile flavors, then the smoke, then the heat from the peppers. That smoky aftertaste means it’s less like a dessert than most jams, even though it is very sweet. I suggest adding more chipotle and garlic, go whole hog with the savory thing, and maybe try reducing the sugar. I didn’t find it to be very spicy, but if you’re spice-averse follow this recipe first before upping the ante.

Doing a plate test. Keep a couple of small plates in the freezer. To test the set, put a spoonful of the hot jam on the plate and put back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam "wrinkles" when you touch it, it's ready to come off the stove. It took us at least twice as long as the recipe recommended to get the wrinkles.

Doing a plate test. Keep a couple of small plates in the freezer. To test the set, put a spoonful of the hot jam on the plate and put back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam “wrinkles” when you touch it, it’s ready to come off the stove. It took us at least twice as long as the recipe recommended to get the wrinkles.

D says he likes it more than normal raspberry jams, because he likes the acidity and smokiness balancing out the sweetness. I liked it with a soft cheese (like brie… see photo below). It might be perfect on roasted pork or chicken, but I’m vegetarian so I’ll leave that to others to test. I think it’s best just plain on toast (with butter, of course).

As an aside, here's what my stove looks like when I'm making jam. One pot for jam, one (rear) to start heating the water bath water (it takes forever on my electric stove) and one to hold the lids in hot (not boiling) water to keep sterile.

As an aside, here’s what my stove looks like when I’m making jam. One pot for jam, one (rear) to start heating the water bath water (it takes forever on my electric stove) and one to hold the lids in hot (not boiling) water to keep sterile.

Pouring the hot jam into jars. We used a normal funnel this time, for chunkier jams I have a wider-mouth funnel. Also, check out how little counter space I have. That's my whole counter, and it's always a mess! Yet I find that I can still manage to do a lot of cooking. Someday maybe I'll have a big kitchen, but I'm not wait for that day to have fun cooking.

Pouring the hot jam into jars. We used a normal funnel this time, for chunkier jams I have a wider-mouth funnel. Also, check out how little counter space I have. That’s my whole counter, and it’s always a mess! Yet I find that I can still manage to do a lot of cooking. Someday maybe I’ll have a big kitchen, but I’m not going to wait for that day to have fun cooking.

Beautiful!

Beautiful! I love the jewel tones in jam, and the raspberry seeds are like stars.

Last but definitely not least... the payoff! I love doing taste-testing pictures, because it means I have to do a lot of tasting. Enjoy!

Last but definitely not least… the payoff! I love doing taste-testing pictures, because it means I have to do a lot of tasting. Enjoy!