I’m writing about this because I know next to nothing about plants, or how they germinate and grow and proliferate. Really. Almost nothing. This week I learned a few simple guidelines for maintaining raspberry bushes that made a mark on my neophyte mind.
When we moved into our house about a year ago we inherited no less than three raspberry stands. I’m not sure of the variety, but based on descriptions I’ve read I would guess they are Boyne raspberries.
Raspberries grow on stalks called canes. Over the winter I often pondered the canes standing in my backyard. Were they dead? Dormant? Would they produce fruit next year? Did I need to do anything to care for them?
Whatever the … Continue reading.
It’s been almost two years since I combined some Onoway honey with crushed, frozen u-pick raspberries and added a bit of yeast to the mix. (The photo at left shows a label reading “Rasp. Melomel 2009”. That’s a mistake in my cellar bookkeeping: it’s definitely from 2010.) This raspberry mead was one of the first fermented drinks I made that wasn’t based on a kit of grape must or malt wort.
I had no idea what I was doing.
I was using a recipe from The Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook by Raymond Massaccesi, a book that I have not used since. Most of the recipes in the book are a syrup of water and refined sugar, flavoured with fresh fruit, pH-adjusted … Continue reading.
This is a quick one. I just learned that raspberry leaves make good tea.
Pick the leaves, dry them in a low oven, and store in an airtight jar.
To serve, steep in hot water for 4 minutes, as you would any other tea, and strain.
I’m not good at describing the subtlties and complexities of something like tea. To me, raspberry leaf tea tastes a bit like green tea…
I really want to like mead.
When I was a kid, before I knew exactly what mead was, I associated it with vikings and long wooden tables and serving-wenches. Even then, I wanted to like it.
My associations were correct in that mead has been a popular drink in northern Europe since antiquity. The epic poem Beowulf, for instance, is about a dragon (Grendel) that terrorizes the mead-hall of a Danish king (Hrothgar) and that dragon’s subsequent ass-kicking at the hands of a young warrior (Beowulf). So yes, vikings and mead go hand in hand, but the drink is part of cultures far beyond Scandinavia, in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America.
These days I’m trying to like mead … Continue reading.
Ever since Neil brought me a recipe for limoncello from Capris, I’ve been eager to try some sort of fruit infusion of alcohol. My surplus of raspberries from Roy’s seemed like divine providence. Here is my recipe for raspberry liqueur.
adapted from a souvenir-bar-towel recipe for limoncello
•750 g raspberries
•750 mL Everclear grain alcohol
•750 mL water
•750 g granulated sugar
•500 mL fresh lemon juice, strained of pulp and seeds
- Pour the grain alcohol and raspberries into a large glass container. Mash the berries, cover the mixture tightly, and leave for two weeks. This is the infusion.
- Pour the infusion through a wire strainer to remove the berry pulp. Discard said pulp.
- Make a
… Continue reading.