Friday, July 17, 2015

Picking berries and cucumbers

I had scheduled today off because it was supposed to be great weather and I wanted to hit the local pick-your-own farm on a weekday to avoid the crowds. George was going to join but when this mornings forecast called for 55% chance of rain and the radar had a big blob headed this way, he backed out.

Thankfully it barely misted for a brief period and then was done. The blueberries had been picked heavy the other day, and need more warm, sunny days for the loads still on the plants to ripen. I picked a small amount just to have a few snacks at home - not enough to process.

Got a bunch of black raspberries, but only after I moved to the farthest corner of the raspberry rows where they were getting breeze and sunshine. The bigger, healthier, more established plants near where people park get little airflow with all the wet weather we've had - the were full of mummified berries and hungry mosquitoes.

I was surprised at how loaded the picking cucumbers were... For different sizes, avoiding any that were too big, figuring I'll do slices and spears, or maybe even some whole ones? Nabbed a handful of jumbo onions as well, since pickles often call for them.

After getting frustrated with trying to get juice from the black raspberries in a dangling jelly bag, I remembered that one of my xmas gifts from Brett's family this year was the Kitchenaid attachments for straining and grinding stuff. Voila! However, I'm still getting used to how it works, and had a couple times where the raspberry seeds clogged on their way out and it was like a gunshot in the kitchen. A loud bang, pieces disassembling and flying everywhere, and dark red splatters. Messy learning experience! Once I went through that (twice) and finally figured out how to do it efficiently, I got a quart of juice from the black raspberries.

The cucumbers are all washed, sorted by size, and in the basement fridge - I'll deal with cucumbers this weekend.

And I still need to turn the currant juice I extracted last night into jelly...


Sue said...

Oh, I covet the black raspberries!!
I don't have any, but the local Amish grow a lot for sale---only this year, there seems to be a disease and black raspberries are few and far between. Ack!! I need some for the freezer and can't locate any.

hotmail forgot password said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeph said...

I ended out getting a quart of very pulpy juice after some, er, adventure with the Kitchenaid strainer attachment (let's just say you can re-run the pulp/seed clumps though only once or twice to get extra juice out - then they start compacting, and backing up, and building up pressure, and then BLAMMO!)

Jeph said...

Oh I forgot I mentioned that in the original posting. ;-) Oh well.... I DO have to say that the jelly tastes amazing!!! I think I got three 1/2 pints plus a full pint?