Raspberries Archive

Monday, June 25, 2012

triple berry summer buttermilk bundt

summer berry buttermilk bundt

Our toddler left us. Or, at least until Friday. Over the last 2 3/4 years, we’ve occasionally been blessed with the chance to go away for a few days sans bébé. We return well-rested and smiling, sandy grit in the bottom of our suitcases, traces of whatever had vexed us before we left deliciously eviscerated from memory, and almost giddy with excitement to start scraping spaghetti from the underside of the high chair again. But this is the first time — with barely a “Sayonara!” as he ran out the door or a single “Wish you were here!” postcard from the road — that Jacob has headed out for lazier climes without us. He’s spending a week at the mountain retreat of Camp Grandparents, where he’s forced to endure petting zoos, baby pools, wide expanses of fresh air, nonstop adoration, and, no doubt, all of the ice cream he can talk them into.

three berries
light and so very fluffy batter

Meanwhile, Alex and I have been left behind to attend to our assigned daily grinds and realize how totally dull this place is in the morning without a toddler buzzing from room to room at the crack of dawn, pulling on our earlobes to announce, “I’m awake! Wake UP!” and serenading us with ABCs on his guitar. We’ve also learned that we share differing interpretations of a week’s Vacation From Parenting. For example, I was thinking that, freed from the daily whirlwind of tight schedules, tantrums, irregular sleep patterns and spontaneous song-and-dance-and-marching! parties that life with a toddler demands, we could finally get caught up on things that have been neglected for the last 2 3/4 years. My to-do list for this week involves such enticing tasks as “Get the apartment painted!” “Rearrange furniture and pictures!” “Clean out closets!” “Meet at gym every day after work,” and “Back-up and replace laptops.” I was also thinking we could read and discuss “War and Peace” every night before we hit the pillow, but didn’t want to be overly ambitious. Alex’s comparatively modest list includes such audacious suggestions as “Get lots of sleep, get drinks with friends, watch TV with the sound on and the Closed Captioning off, and very little else.” Yeah, so who would you rather party with? It’s okay, I won’t take it personally.

folding in the floured berries

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 29, 2012

raspberry coconut macaroons

raspberry coconut macaroons

Every year around this time, behind the scenes, I go through my annual Macaroon Marathon, in which I decimate bags and bags of coconut in an effort to find a variation on the lowly macaroon worth noting, publicly. As evidenced by the fact that my archives are virtually coconut macaroon-free, I hadn’t thus far succeeded. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.

this week's macaroon marathon
rolled in coconut chips, prettiest

Two years ago, insistent on making something my coconut-loathing but chocolate-adoring husband would find palatable, I made multiple attempts at chocolate-coconut macaroons. They were… brown. And tangly. And rarely chocolaty enough. I don’t remember them fondly. Last year’s experiments centered on whatever appallingly bad home economics had led me to having three (3!) bags of unsweetened coconut in my pantry, and my determination that they would leave my kitchen in cookie format. They were… okay. I am sure more skilled macaroon makers than I make excellent macaroons from unsweetened coconut, but I found them consistently more dry and scratchy than those that began with sweetened coconut. This week’s coconut macaroon trials were the most obsessive yet, with versions rolled in unsweetened coconut chips (gorgeous, but man, are those chips unpleasant to chew), chopped almonds (tasty, but hardly noteworthy), thumbprinted with the intention of filling the indentation with jam or chocolate down the road but I lost interest before I did (a sure sign that they were a snooze) and even flattened, with designs on a sandwich cookie. Were it not for the one in which I’d actually pressed a whole raspberry inside a sealed ball of coconut macaroon, I wouldn’t be here discussing macaroons today because although it was fussy and odd to construct, the flavor smacked unmistakeably of cookie destiny: coconut and raspberries were meant to be together.

coconut snow

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, July 16, 2011

whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones

baked raspberry ricotta scones

This is the very first recipe I developed for my cookbook. It came as an accident — you would think that someone who spends as much time shopping for groceries as I do wouldn’t constantly run out of flour and cream mid-recipe but I’d surprise you — but I immediately fell in love with it and knew it needed a home in print. Over the last year, I made them whenever I’ve had an excuse and a few times that I didn’t. They fit so squarely within the vision I had for the book that when everything else felt impossible I’d think, “It’s okay. I’ve still got those whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones.” They made me happy.

I just read that back to myself and realize how weird it sounds. It’s been a weird year.

raspberries + flours
raspberries meeting their end

And then, just as quickly as I fell in love with them, I cast them aside for something else. One day in June, a day when I was playing around with breakfast recipes long after I promised I’d cut myself off, I made a new scone and without even blinking, swapped it in and kicked these to the curb. Poor scones; it’s not their fault they’re not the prettiest. They’re a bit craggy and their final shape is always hard to predict. The dough is messy — you cut raspberries right into it, like butter, but don’t worry, there is also butter — and it needs to be treated with a gentle hand. I had my reasons to give it the boot but still.

ricotta, heavy cream, yes

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, August 12, 2010

raspberry limeade slushies

raspberry limeade slushies

I have decided not to leave. Yesterday, I was eating a drippy peach we’d bought from one of those roadside stands that have baskets of homegrown stuff and instruct you to leave your money in a little container (you know, just like in Manhattan!) over the sink and two tiny deer and a bunny appeared in the woodsy area next to our house and seriously, I cannot believe that people own these places and willingly rent them to strangers. Where else could they possibly want to stay?

wine wine wine
tomatoes in every color

Here, there are small beaches where you are frequently the only person on them. Seagulls caw and while I’m sure they’re saying, “Over here! There’s a chubby baby boy napping and he looks very tasty!” I like them anyway. There are enough wineries that if you tried to hit two a day for a week, you wouldn’t get to all of them (but you should try, anyway) and every farm stand brags about their blackberries. There’s an old-fashioned chocolate shop with an actual old-fashioned looking guy in the next room, making your daily dose of dark chocolate turtles. We’ve passed something called a Farm Preschool which I’ve decided I’ll attend instead of the baby because why should he have all the fun? I’m reading a book I was sure I’d find unendurable and actually liking it (though likely because I’m still on the part about the eatin’). And there are 7-11′s all over this town.

limesto be limeadejuicedraspberries

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

raspberry brown sugar gratin

ugly, wonderful things happened here

This is the ugliest, best thing I have ever made with three ingredients and the happy ending to three weeks of obsessing. And here you probably just thought it looked like an accident, didn’t you?

raspberries

This plan hatched last month when Regina Schrambling declared on Epicurious’ Epi-Log that one of the best ways to eat summer berries is to “just add fat” to them. Well, she didn’t have to ask me twice! Buried near the end of the post, however, is the real gem, a summary of a recipe from New American Classics by Jeremiah Tower (I thought his hair looked familiar…) in which berries, sour cream and dark brown sugar are broiled together in a shallow dish to create something he calls a “Russian Gratin.”

ingredients
piling in the berries

Continued after the jump »


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