We have what appears to be the start of a bumper crop of raspberries this year. We always have way too many raspberries, many more than our family can use. Over the years I've tried to think of creative ways to use up the millions of berries I am forced to pick every other day (because we planted the Everbear variety and I can't seem to con enough people into coming over and picking them).
Raspberry freezer jam is usually the first line of defense. I put up batch after batch of jam until the freezer is stuffed and I give away many that won't fit. I've already made several pies this year and I gave one of those away this week too. I always freeze trays of whole berries to use in pies through the winter, but my favorite way of using the berries is to juice them and bottle the raspberry extract. It is truly delectable and beautiful mixed with 7-Up or lemonade.
This morning I went out early and enjoyed the buzzing of the bees among the blossoms on the canes and the new day just starting fresh and cool as I picked a couple of cups of fresh raspberries to eat on our breakfast cereal.
I'm putting out the call to anyone within driving distance to come and pick berries at my house. You should show up before 8:00 a.m. or after 10:30 a.m. to miss the sprinklers. Long sleeves are important because the canes have stickers and scratch up your arms if they're not covered. The perfect raspberry picking container is a five-quart ice cream bucket with a handle to hang over one arm leaving both hand free to pick berries.
Raspberry Days have started--come on over!