Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raspberries! (Pblfff!)

Here are the kids, still in their good clothes from Wed., 11:15
Mass.  It was a spur of the minute decision to stop at the orchard.
(It was a sunny day, too, btw.  Only my phone camera was foggy...)
Right around the corner from our house a most wonderful orchard scales the top and nestles into the folds of a long graceful hill. It's so tucked into the landscape, you wouldn't know it was there, if you didn't know it was there, but it's popular all around these parts as thee go-to spot for autumn harvest.  How cool is that, right? We feel like the luckiest people in the world to have found such a wonderful orchard so close by!  Every kind of apple you can imagine is represented, as well as every kind of pear. I imagine there are peaches and cherries and the like, as well, though we didn't manage to explore to all the corners, so I'm not positive.  But, every row is clearly marked with the variety of fruit, and in a lovely little kitchen garden area, the owners have
Hobbes blowing a
planted all kinds of unusual varieties of herbs and flowers, as well as climbing varieties of gourds and vines of all kinds, growing up tall pole tepees and covered archways and tunnels that the children scramble through in delight.  In the maze of growing things, we found a jungle gym tucked away, as well as a tricycle race track and a tire swing, and throughout the property wound a "discovery trail," with strategically placed signs detailing all sorts of interesting facts about nature and plants.  And the best thing?  It was all free to enjoy!

Except one thing:  the fruit you pick, and it was reasonably priced.

Anna and raspberries. Raspberries and Anna.
When we were there the other day, the apples were just about "played out," but the pumpkins and gourds were at their peak, and the raspberry patch was brimming with berries to pick.  Though the pumpkin patch was very tempting, everyone wanted to wait for Daddy to be with us for something as important as choosing pumpkins!  So that pretty much left us the raspberries.  And raspberries we got!   Eight pounds of them in three gallon buckets, picked by Cathy, Anna, Gabe, William, and me. (not Theresa, as she's in N.C. right now, visiting relatives with Aunt Nina.)

 We'd never gone on a berry picking spree before, but everyone took to it like naturals. Before the middle of the first row, everyone was hunting and picking like a well-trained crew of miners -- thrilling to the find of a "good berry branch" as if we were picking diamonds. Or rubies.  Juicy sweet rubies!  It was all I could do to make sure they weren't all eaten before they made it to the buckets!

Here's what we've turned the raspberries into so far.

Scrumptious!!  Highly recommend the following recipe.  Can also be made without the raspberries.

  • Heavenly Raspberry Mocha Brownies

  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (we used coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup coffee low-fat yogurt (doesn't have to be coffee flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large egg whites, lightly beaten (can also be made with the whole egg, yolk and all)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa (we used regular ol' Cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray 
  • 3 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries, divided (can be omitted)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, and add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring just until moist. Gently stir in 1 cup of fresh raspberries Pour mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve with raspberries on top. (And vanilla bean icecream!)

World's Easiest and Most Healthful Raspberry Jam

(We made this as a refrigerator jam, and didn't prepare it for canning)

1.5 cups raspberries
3 Tbs chia seeds
2 tbs honey (or a little more, to taste)
3 Tbs water


Cook raspberries on low for app. 5 minutes, then crush with a fork (or potato masher).
Add chia seeds, honey, and water; stir.
Pour into jar, let cool, add lid, and refrigerate to cool (about an hour).
That's it!

Here's how we did it, though:

12 cups raspberries
1 1/3 chia seeds
1 cup honey

(We eliminated the water because our berries were so juicy, but you'd add app. 1 1/3 cups to follow the recipe exactly)

Then, proceed with the above directions, but have someone stand guard over the cooling jam so that it's not all eaten before it has a chance to cool... This made about 6 1/2 pints.

(DIdn't get a picture of the pretty little jars of jam...  Gave away half of it and ate the rest before I had a chance!  Delicious on toast, on peanut butter sandwiches, and in Quinoa!)

Blowing a raspberrystrawberry or making a Bronx cheer is to make a noise that may signify derision, real or feigned. It may also be used in childhood phonemic play either solely by the child or by adults towards a child to encourage imitation to the delight of both parties. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound similar to . In the terminology of phonetics, this sound can be described as an unvoiced linguolabial trill [r̼̊]. It is never used in human language phonemically (e.g., to be used as a building block of words), but the sound is widely used across human cultures.
The nomenclature varies by country. In the United States, Bronx cheer is sometimes used; otherwise, in the U.S. and in other English-speaking countries, it is known as a raspberry, rasp, or razz  

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