Friday, June 14, 2013

berry season

Berry season has arrived in the northwest.  Wheeee!!!!!  Not only does that mean that for the next three months I will be stuffing my face with berries of every kind but I will be able to do it in the sunshine.  I have been crying happy, happy tears friends and with the year we've been having these kind have been a welcome change.  Ok, so types of berries that will be comprising a large proportion of my daily allotted calorie intake are:

salmon berries

Think of all the pie combinations there are to make.  My head is spinning with future sugar rushes.

Berries here grow everywhere, by the way.  I've said it before when, last year, Leif and I walked around his parents' house and foraged enough blackberries to make a pie.  But it isn't just blackberries.  Raspberries, blueberries, and salmon berries are pretty common sights.  Case in point, yesterday evening while we were at the zoo there were salmon berries ripening along the paths.  You could tell where they had been picked off by hungry zoo-goers.  Going to see the new baby otter?  Need a snack?  No problem, they have been graciously provided by the zoo.

Last weekend was the beginning of the season at the u-pick farms, of which there are numerous.  There are quite a few on our side of town but we made the thirty minute drive out to Bella Organic on Sauvie Island.  Last year we went to the island (to different farms) to pick pumpkins and to get our Christmas Tree.  It is kind of a tradition for us.

According to one berry snob I overheard complaining loudly on her phone, while I was plucking berries, we had missed all the Hood variety strawberries and essentially it was a waste of time being out there.  Puh-lease.  Maybe my strawberry palate has yet to become refined, being a transplant and all, but the ones we took home with us were really sweet.  Clio and her cousin Jasper seemed to think they were especially great.

(Clio picked out her own barrettes, by the way.  Clearly.) 

We picked too much, which is really easy to do at these u-pick places, because the buckets they give you are HUGE and the strawberries are so small.  Sneaky devils, I know they do it on purpose.  After I made strawberry shortcake and Leif (yes, Leif!) made strawberry risotto we still had more than was possible to eat before they went bad so I threw them in the freezer for smoothies.  I think this summer may be the one in which I finally learn to can fruit.

By the way, strawberry risotto was a hit.  It was a savory dish but even Clio liked it (as much as she likes anything that isn't ice cream, which is to say, not enough to eat more than a couple bites) once I told her it was strawberry rice.

Next up, blueberries!


  1. Oh, how I envy the berry world of the northwest. When we visited there--gosh, I guess it's been five years ago now?--we walked trails behind our friends' subdivision and picked wild blackberries and I thought that it was the best thing ever. Strawberry risotto intrigues me.

  2. Oregon berries are the best! I learned how to can fruit a few years ago and it was pretty easy (of course that was pre-child helpers) and so rewarding!