Jul 12, 2008

It's Raspberry-Picking Time

Pictured on your left are the first raspberries of the season, freshly picked from the bushes in my backyard. Though only about four ounces in weight, they will make a tart accompaniment to tonight's fruit salad.

This is the earliest I can recall seeing ripe raspberries, which usually start ripening the last two weeks of July and into the first few days of August. Our friend Microdot over at The Brain Police informed us recently that he picked over two kilograms of raspberries in late June, a full three weeks before mine started to ripen. Of course, he lives in the French region of Aquitaine, which follows a different seasonal pattern than here in Northwest Ohio, and in which the residents spend much more time in physical labor than walking on digital treadmills, but that's another story.

Also, Microdot must have tough skin to have picked so many raspberries, as I had an annoying case of itchy skin after being poked by a myriad of raspberry stickers in only fifteen minutes of picking the fruit. Perhaps there is a special technique to picking them of which I am unaware; feel free to offer your raspberry-picking secrets in the comments section.

1 comment:

microdot said...

Mike, I picked over 2 kilos a day at the peak for a week. The amount started at a few, then tapered off and finally, last Monday. I cut out the old wood, left the strongest 3 canes, cut them back and tied them to the wires.
Now I am forking the ground, taking out unwanted sprouts and then all summer, I will use my grass clippings on the ground between the 2 rows.
I fork that in in the late fall, remove any unwanted suckers, which also provide new plants for myself and my friends.
All winter, I use the wood fire ashes from the fire place, which is forked into the earth around the end of February.
Forking the ground in the early spring givers you a chance to once morte get all the weed roots out and all the tiney pests which hibernate in soil are exposed to the powerful eyes of the hungry birds.
I have many kilos of frozen berries in the freezer, 50 jars of preserves and have eaten all the fresh raspberries I could each day.
In spite of all this, yesterday, we took our niece to the village of Conceze in the Correze to visit their annual raspberry fete where they featured the worlds largest tart au framboises! It was in a tent of it's own! We bought a piece.
It was the traditional french style, a pate sablee with a pastry creme and fresh raspberries glazed with thinned confiture over the top!
I have this recipe archived on thebrainpolice along with the recipe for the best dessert pastry sablee crust as well a version of white chocolate mousse with raspberries.
As far as you prickly berry bush problems, perhaps I have developed extra thick skin from blogging.
bon appetit, bien sur!