August 19th, 2014
“Blackberry” has a certain connotation these days – a small hand-held device used for constant communication, right?
Well, at our house, instead of technology, we think of plump, dark, juicy berries, hanging in heavy clusters off riotous berry canes along a homemade fence. After planting a few bushes last fall, we were rewarded with a bumper crop of the most delicious blackberries we’ve ever eaten. We have blueberries and raspberries, too.
We’ve been picking daily for weeks, and started counting our bounty in gallons, not pints. We’ve eaten fresh berries to our heart’s content; we’ve frozen them for smoothies and made berry muffins. But now what?
My cousin told me about a curious fruit drink called a “shrub” that you can make to create a home-made soda. Instead of making a simple syrup with berries and sugar, you add cider vinegar, too, to give it a more savory, sophisticated flavor when added to plain seltzer water. You can use your choice of berries.
CCPL has hosted local canning expert and author, J.R. Coffey, for a number of programs over the summer, including on Wednesday, August 20 at the Perryville Branch.
I’ve also been getting ideas for using my berries from a variety of cooking magazines that CCPL offers via Zinio, which are digital magazines that I can download and keep on my home computer, or even my blackberry!
What are your favorite ways to preserve the taste of summer?