Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Raspberries, queen of fruit

Photo: Calgary Public Library food blog

The chain of raspberry memories goes back to childhood days of picking them wild. First, under Mom's tutelage, I picked into a china teacup. Later, I ventured into the berry patch with only the dog for company. Every time the bushes rustled, I thought about bears.

My raspberry memory chain has a unique link of gold welded to the day of my daughter's birth.

On that sunny afternoon, the kitchen was fragrant with the heady scent of fresh raspberry jam. Scrubbing the floors energetically, I sensed that the birth was close.

Perhaps on that golden July day, the new baby sensed the sweet presence of cooking raspberries. As an adult Yasemin still loves homemade raspberry jam with croissants. Her favourite dessert is Christmas trifle, which I make with local raspberries frozen the summer before.

No other food fragrance says high summer like a pot of raspberry jam, the most flavourful there is. These days I cook it on low, in small quantities, with a few granules of fine tapioca to thicken it, and only enough sugar to take the edge off the natural tartness of the berries. That version keeps a week or so in the fridge, and tastes a whole lot better than the heavily sugared store-bought one.

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