Monday, 26 July 2010

Raving raspberry mad

We had a lovely weekend just now. We went up to Leeds on Thursday evening for The Scientist and Munchkin Gramps' traditional excursion to Headingley for international cricket. Yes, Munchkin Gramps has five children and three sons-in-law (one more properly an outlaw, which I just like saying), and only one of them likes cricket. I was invited one year but I evidently wasn't attentive enough as the invitation was mysteriously absent the following summer. It was probably for everyone's benefit - I like cricket, but in small doses only. I was glad I wasn't there this year as they came back with terrible sunburn on account of expecting gloom and rain. Meanwhile I spent half the day working, and half with Grandma S and Junior Sis and Bro. We had a nice lunch and went for a lovely walk along the canal, before reconvening for a fish'n'chip supper with the men. Well, fish'n'chips for five, and one sulk from the veggie as the chips are fried in dripping. What do you expect from Yorkshire?

The next day Yorkshire delivered more fine weather, and Grandma S, Junior Sis and Junior Bro indulged me in my perpetual love of pick-your-own fruit farms. The strawberries were over, but there were lots of raspberries, and after a discussion on how many we could collectively get through (they are going on holiday next week), I confidently asserted that it was not possible to have too much fruit, and that I would deal with all the excess. Back at home, three HUGE baskets in front of me on the counter, I started to doubt my words. They were so beautiful though - plump and fragrant, and just falling off the canes into our hands. An hour of washing and triaging (jam versus baking and eating) later, I was feeling a bit less enthusiastic and rather anxious about what to do with them all, but I made my own bed, and now I must lie in all my berries (well, that would get rid of a few).

Raspberry pictures and raspberry styling courtesy of Junior Bro :)

I promised to document my berry adventures for Grandma S, so here is my first foray: raspberry coulis. Simple, yes, but we weren't up for a big dessert after a hot day. Fresh berries are best fresh, and so I made the coulis to accompany a sort of make-your-own Eton mess when Cai and Lauren came round for inauthentic veggie paella last night: meringue nests, raspberries, Greek yogurt and double cream, plus the coulis.

The coulis is really easy to make, though somewhat time-consuming to sieve. Place a cup of berries in a pan with a little water and sugar, and heat briefly, just enough to warm the berries and melt the sugar. Blend in a blender, and then sieve to remove the pips. Add sugar to taste, and chill. I've kept the post-sieving pips and mush to stir into yogurt, though I suspect I'll be picking seeds out of my teeth all day. Hmm, note to self: don't eat for breakfast before a day of meetings tomorrow.

Raspberry count after coulis and Eton mess: three baking sheets' worth frozen, and one giant bowl in the fridge.

1 comment:

Johanna GGG said...

i am jealous - what a bounty - and the eton mess sounds wonderful - just the sort of dessert I never think to make but admire when others do