Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Berries & 'Squitos

  I love berry season! I love the sweet, tangy, tart, bursts of flavor. Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Black Raspberries, Blackberries - I love preserving the summery goodness to provide hiatus to the winter blahs. Berries in my freezer, like my own private pirate treasure, hidden away in the dark, awaiting the moment I decide to make shakes or smoothies or some other fruited treasure. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy! I revel in the bags of frozen goodness and containers of freezer jam.
   I do NOT like mosquitoes. One must brave the biting hordes if one desires to add black raspberries to ones treasure stash. Yesterday, I made my way with a friend to a black raspberry patch off the beaten path. After about 5 minutes I realized I had come to the battle unarmed as mosquitoes swarmed over us and made it difficult to even think about berries. We retreated to the van and ran back to the house for bug spray. Rinsing our selves off and quickly spraying down with bad smelling bug stuff. We went back to the berry patch and waded in. We picked doggedly for about 40 minutes, swatting each other as the pesky critters bit even through our clothes. It was better ... sort of. After many bites and several scratches I have approximately 1.5 cups of black raspberries. We conceded the battle but not the war. I am headed back today to see if perhaps I can come out victorious with enough precious tarts to save for winter. If not...I'll make a cobbler and call it good. I will again enter the fray in a week or so when the blueberries are ripe.

      I did a little better with the strawberries. I am thinking that perhaps I will try one more day to get some red goodness. Last week I obtained enough berries to make 14 pints of strawberry and 2 pints of triple berry freezer jam. Its wonderful flavor a bright and cheery note at breakfast or on ice cream. My sister is visiting perhaps I will shanghai her to help me. Of course this whole process is a labor of love... because once you pick the berries you must clean and process them as soon as possible so as to preserve as much as possible from rot. This is a whole day process then - the picking and preserving.  I love the process though it is tiring and I enjoy the products. The work is something so different from my daily life. It makes me stop and think and wonder at all the bounty God has given.

Lord, Thank you for your bounty and for the challenge to take time and enjoy the process. Thank you for a flash of summer in wintertime through the labors of today!  Caite girl

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