Fresh RASPBERRY Ice Cream Thanks to the fabulous visit of the Taron/Hallorans, and Doug telling me that the recipe in the Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Cookbook for Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream was “excellent”, we made some. We'd had the book for years and I've only used the Vanilla recipe up to this date. The raspberry experiment? I ate a PINT of it the first night. Oh, but it was a pleasure. Hence, I’m putting it out here for all to enjoy….. IF YOU like fresh Raspberries, you must try this, and it IS that season right now. *Compared to other fresh fruit, fresh raspberries are intensely flavorful and very tart, so to make ice cream you need less fruit and more sugar. 1 Pint fresh Raspberries 1 1 / 2 Cups Sugar Juice of 1 / 2 lemon 2 Large Eggs 2 Cups heavy or whipping cream. ! cup whole milk 1. Toss the raspberries, 3 / 4 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. 2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 / 4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minutes more. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and whisk to blend. 3. Drain the juice from the raspberries into the cream mixture and blend. Mash the raspberries until pur’eed and stir them into the cream mixture. 4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes a generous quart. Bon Apetit ! = = = = I'm way behind in keeping this "diary"............and hope to catch up soon.
Something magic has happened once again! In some mysterious way, after all the whining, the GRAY, the wet, the mud, SUMMER snuck in the back door. ALL the pessimism about a rotting garden? (WELL, some of that was earned, some of those plants are in their 3rd planting after all!).......is GONE. JUST today, believe it or not, I had to water vegetable plants! THE fabulous news about that is, our 15 year old garden space shows healthy soil condition....it has been DRAINING the moisture all through the wet period. ALL I had to fight today was some MOLE invasions under plants, fertilize a bit, and truly admire nature, appreciate that things are actually GROWING (MORE on this later).... THIS post is about what happens to signal the REAL beginning of a Northwest summer, at least to me. The REAL INNER SENSE of this season happens WHEN the BERRY SEASON begins, and I make FREEZER STRAWBERRY JAM! THEN, my mood is changed, and renewed once again! Truly, it is. Any worthy project starts with a spot of tea, yes? Next, you'll prepare your little freezer cups for their coming duty: Then, it's the last look at these Hood strawberries in their original form, just picked a few hours ago: Everything peripheral gets measured and set out...pectin/sugars: Finally, we start the fun stuff. Getting the berries cleaned, stems removed, and things look good: Now, we core the berries, crushing 'em a bit with a potato masher, and "lucsious" comes to mind: You're ready to go.............Mix some of your pectin w/sugar, add a bit o-water, bring to boil, add your berries and get it OFF the heat immediately so berries don't cook. Ladle the luscious fresh berries into those cups, seal 'em up.....and you end with this: That what happens to the first flat of strawberries that comes to this house......................every year. THIS JAM, represents just one of the many fabulous food gifts my Mom always made for us. From the time we were kids before many folks even had a freezer, she was making this jam and did until she was in her last house....something she was so proud to serve when we came home to visit. Now I enjoy it year round.
**Because a good question was raised about the downing of the Maple Tree, I thought I'd just explain: "WHY do you leave the trunk of the tree up that high? It seems you'd get some good firewood chunks out of that fattest part of the trunk at the bottom?" WELL.............it's an easy answer, thanks to learning from Nancy G years ago. We leave those lower tree trunks high because......as they decay and soften, they become full of bugs. GUESS WHO begins visiting them as they truly rot over years? BIRDS. They become bird buffets........and that trumps being used for a one-night fire. Cool, eh? SO, next time you're logging on your property, leave a bit-o-trunk for the birds...........it's worth it.
After all the gardening this w/e, that tree blocking light from my corn kept bothering me..................... Well, Seems there was just enough time to cut that sun-blocking maple tree before showers came today. Here was that tree yesterday: And here it is today: And here is what's left: AND IF.......you'd like to know just what kind of physical shape you are in, do the above just for one tree, it should only take a couple hours. Okay, yep, for most of you, no after effects. For the 63 yr old? A sore stiff back today, and maybe I'm cleaning house, but I'm not cutting, stripping, splitting, moving, stacking a tree in the yard! Wahoomph! THE CORN IS HAPPY....I can't wait to see it in the sunshine at 8:00 pm............. We still have to decide where to put the deciduous Sequoia we've had for two years...I love the color of the needles and MUST find "the place" for it: Yesterday I saw the black Iris, today a WHITE one (is it a sign?): And lastly, I saw a poor bedraggled looking baby Robin who it seems, is living his first day or two without Mommy: Or, worse things may have happened to Mom. This little guy just didn't look ready for the real world. However, when I got about 3' away, he was able to fly to a branch..........whew! Good luck Robin!
Of course, they're wrong again.....rain showers are here today & in the morning, but nothing like it's been. With everything finally settling into it's place in the garden, a few showers will be just what some seeds want. Ah. Finally. The pics aren't the best, but when I look back at this next year, I'll have some frame of reference....... In large part, something's trying to set roots everywhere in the vegetable garden: **Everywhere a tomato cage is now, here was a water jacket last week. There are only a few left to coax some warmth for the hot peppers and smaller 'maters. The Russian Stupice tomatoes have fared well, and are now on their own surrounded by the cages waiting for big growth. .....not all are pictured here: *** This shows some of the pepper plant jackets, poor immigrant peppers still complaining about the cold....beyond them, lettuce, cilantro, green onion seeds set, lettuce starts, parsley, basil, and further out, peas, & finally carrot seeds in the last row, a row also growing herbs like: french fennel, oregano, thyme, sage, & a bit-o-mint: OUR earlier lettuce starts survived the rain w/some help, and by the time visiting Mid-westerners arrive in a week, we'll have a salad buffet: We finally decided to buy tomatillo starts....for the first time in 10 years, perhaps the volunteer seedlings from last year rotted? These will guarantee our continued production of our best canning effort, the Tomatllo Salsa: THEN.......AS I put these in the ground, I DID find some tiny Tomatillo sprouts...they are simply 3 weeks late (I wonder why!): ***These little babies were carefully lifted from their sprout spot to one the boss prefers.....so now, it appears, we'll have some tomatillos ripening in late September! Cool. We rotate the corn every year or two, and this year, it was it's turn on the west side....... **SEE the NEW problem there? SHADE! IT was only 5:00 pm, and our days now go into after 8:30 before sunset. The maple behind this garden has finally exceeded its welcome height: THAT TREE is coming down, and in fact, that's where I SHOULD be right now....... so the Chain saw is coming out....I'll fell the tree, strip it, split it, and we'll have a start on 2011's wood supply. *(There are already young fir trees growing near its base. We knew this day would come.) The shade on the corn is unacceptable.....corn will NOT ripen without warm sun to process those lovely sugars: **The UP side here is that the volunteer Finnish fingerling Potatoes are up grandly, and will be ready for harvest in about 3-4 weeks. Delicious......... I loved seeing another sign of recovery from the slog-o-rain. The rhubarb leaves/stems were soft, yellowish, but I saw lovely rich green leaves appearing: There's also a row dedicated to the silliness of squash, a cuke, and one near the edge one long island cheese squash (For Pumpkin Pie this fall): And lastly, MAC sits where the carrot seeds were placed saturday wondering why they're not up: Sunflower SEEDS (those gorgeous Teddy Bear varieties) are set again.....this time protected inside from those pesky squirrels.......how do they FIND them!!!! Hopefully, they'll look like this in 3 months: NOW................ patience must be learned, and watering duties will begin soon. AND, as I close, knowing I'd BETTER get to work on that Maple tree, ONE luscious Iris is blooming near the road. I don't know what variety it is: I hope SUMMER sticks around.................. I'm getting hungry for fresh food.
TODAY was the first dry day of many forecast, El Nino may truly be ending, summer may be on the way....and after a garden inspection, EVERYTHING was transplanted into the REAL garden space, and had 3 hours of pm sun to wish it on its way! I had to post that JUST FOR THE RECORD....... this is a very late vegetable garden start date for our elevation. TOMORROW, we hit the farmer's markets for a few more starts, and we'll be ready to get the deer fence up ..............HURRAY! PICS later.
Another wet rain front stretching across the pacific is due in tonight and is to last THROUGH the day tomorrow. It APPEARS I'll be covering tomato plants once again, and hope all those new starts I planted Saturday, and survived Sunday's flood, CAN make it through one more storm. Just in case I've been wrong all these years, I'm invoking all magic potions I used to have. I've put on my magic Mormon underwear, grabbed a daisy, and have been praying here for two days: IT WAS SO beautiful yesterday and will be most of today, I'm hoping things will dry enough and get enough sunshine radiation they'll simply BELIEVE life will get better. At LEAST I didn't plant the corn yet....those starts are all still sitting in the little mini grn house. IF this next one only lasts one day, I have promised to come out from seclusion, return to normal garb and begin behaving properly. On a positive note, DRY WARM seasonal weather is forecast for SEVERAL days in a row beginning FRIDAY.....I cannot WAIT! Hope springs eternal. I'm just a cockeyed optimist......or so it seems, despite the repeated rain that's now in the record books. We've had nearly 8 inches in the last week....normal would be less than 2. Streams on the hillside are running FULL. On another positive note: I checked Momma Junco in the Smiths' lawn.......they are now proud grandparents to 4 baby juncos. Lovely momma would not even FLY off the nest when I checked now that they've hatched. Very cute. OKAY.....now to get the pre-storm stuff done once again: mow two lawns, cover water walls, slug bait, housework, exercise dog (walk and maybe a swim?), and today?......... **Caulking in our kitchen sink has failed, but hero neighbor plumber friend Eran is coming over this pm to really repair everything the way it should have been installed in the first place. HE is a GREAT guy, we're just learning how lucky we are to have him as neighbor. He's lived there over a year, but we're just now getting acquainted. He's the guy gave us the whole fresh salmon last winter...... So, here we go....as I watch momma woodpecker feeding yet ANOTHER NEW baby....I have NEVER seen so many woodpeckers since we moved here. YEA!
As of last friday, forecasts said: 1) Fabulous Saturday! 2) Sunday....some rain, maybe 1/3 inch. 3) Good Monday - Tuesday. We got up after a week of rain and Rodger having to set up, manage a science conference and in our sun-blinded world, took off for Tillamook, OR. on the pretense to buy Tillamook Cheese Curds at the famous creamery: That drive also means a climb over the coastal summits and down through the beautiful Tillamook Nat'l Forest along the deep, blue, mighty Wilson River....FULL of rapids for this dog Mac's thrilling adventures. One of the many beautiful Oregon drives. We did NOT take a current spring high-water pic, but here's one place we always stop...if you look at this pic, look at the big rocks to the left....NOW the water is 2/3 up those rocks, MUCH higher with all this rain: Another spot is much wider, with deep channels and always gorgeous (another old pic.....last fall, not so green): IN any river that flows fast and deep like this, Mac sometimes gets SO happy he simply swims in circles barking as loud as he can the whole time...it's just a joy to watch. At one point near here, he got caught in fast rapids and almost disappeared way downstream before we got his attention back long enough for him to "wake" up from his trance. On to Tillamook Creamery where we immediately were in line to get our free samples of EVERY kind of cheese they make. We are NOT salesmen for Tillamook cheese OTHER THAN their cheddars. Their Aged White Extra-Sharp Cheddar can't be beat. Once we'd bagged all out curds, salami, sausages, etc., we got in line for the Ice Cream Cones: Finally! We were done, and on our way back up into the coastal mountains and a stop at Alice's Restaurant: This classic old American diner is consistently very good for Burgers, Fries etc. IF one wants a bit more up-scale American Diner Wonderful food, stop at COLEMAN's 9N near Gales Creek. That's unforgettable. WHAT A GREAT DAY! Oh well. We got home to a fabulous sunny afternoon. Mark was so moved, he dug everything out of the mini greenhouse, planted it in the garden, put out Sluggo, fed all the birds, refilled hummer feeders, and was pretty proud of himself. We were awakened about 0400 Sunday morning by heavy rain that continued non-stop until 1400............10 hours! I'm afraid to go out and look at the garden this morning. I know ONE THING......if the big plants die this time, most of it becomes a flower garden for this year. Please, oh dear, Rain God, (Whoever you are), go back to sleep!
The Junco Mom survived the night and day and stayed faithfully on her nest. As a matter of fact, she owes me a thanks, since she remained a lot dryer than other Mom Junco's in other nests, eh? With the break in rain tonight and tomorrow day (next wave hits tomorrow night and Friday), I renovated and enlarged her home: She has seemed pretty happy with that, and as a matter of fact, seems to be allowing me to get closer........ Her shelter will remain in place until the young are fledged. In the wet day this afternoon, I got a craving for chocolate cake wrapped in my addiction to: Cream Cheese Frosting...... I am NOT a cake maker, but did my best. I'm not sure it's gonna go to competition: ***Ah, Where's Mr. Tate, the master at Food Photography. Couldn't HE make this look better? Hah. The REAL cake is here: By the way, the crumbs from that crumb leftovers pic, are pretty delicious...... The SECRET to a good Cream Cheese Frosting? **Make the regular cream cheese frosting.....whipping up the soft cream cheese until fluffy, add the real vanilla, then....INSTEAD of BUTTER, USE: Coconut OIL....... Add the powdered sugar, and then, FINALLY, PUT IN a Tblsp or two of this secret ingredient: a mild German Raspberry Brandy: WaldHimbeer-Geist (thanks, Thomas & Brenda)....I'm sure any raspberry liquor would do, but some may have a stronger berry taste, so judge your amount by the liquor you use for this..) In other news, baby birds are showing up. We're now watching Mom's feed babies at the feeders: 1) Downy Woodpeckers....at least 3 different babies so far. 2) White Crowned Sparrows......... 3) Juncos 4) Black Headed Grosbeaks ........and probably more. After our next big wave of serious RAIN ends Friday night, the forecasts are calling for several dry warm days. We can only hope. . . . . . .