The Spain in Iowa Summer Blogger Series. A series to highlight people and their passion for food, culture and life. These are some of the people that continually inspire me in my own blog and life. My hope is that they will inspire you as well.
Today, I am happy to introduce you to Stacy from Seattle Seedling.
There are just not enough kind things I can say about this hip, sweet lady from Seattle. She’s a passionate urban homesteader with a flare for design. Her urban hens have a lovely coop including a framed picture of Gonzo with Camilla to keep them happy (Watch her video tour, second video… too cute!).
She’s not just a creative (check out her mosaic she created herself) but also has a heart for her community. She’s bilingual in English and Spanish and and for the past seven years has taught in an immersion school completely in Spanish. She will now be teaching in the inner city schools with English as a second language students.
Stacy is the kind of lady that lets you realize there is kindness in this world and people that have a heart of compassion to teach and help others.
Please stop by and visit Stacy at, www.seattleseedling.com or get to know her on her facebook fan page, https://www.facebook.com/seattleseedling. You can also visit her etsy store where she sells handmade cards and mosaics.
We’ve had a peculiar summer out here in the Northwest. As I write this, it is mid-August and I have yet to harvest my first zucchini. It feels like early July – we’re just a little behind everyone else this season. So while I may not be harvesting any cucurbits as usual, I am gathering more raspberries than I ever have. Because this summer, in the characteristically drizzly city of Seattle, it feels like it’s raining raspberries.
So now more than ever, I am sold on growing raspberries, especially the everbearing variety. Lately I’ve been feeling like my huge harvest has been due to the mild summer weather we’ve been having, but really it’s probably just because now my raspberry patch has matured a little (two years old) and I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor. Although honestly, I haven’t really labored at all! You’ve got to wait until the spring to plant them, but if I were you, I’d start looking for a space in your garden where you can have a berry patch. What you’ve heard about raspberry canes being invasive is true, but if you can find a bed or space where you can let them spread a little, it will be worth it. I dedicated one nice sized raised bed for mine. You may have to pull a few rogue canes here and there that pop up beyond the boundaries you set for them, but it’s nothing too difficult to maintain. And there’s really no greater reward for your efforts than being able to harvest pint after pint right outside your front door.
Where ever you put them, you’ll need a trellis. I installed a sturdy wood T at both sides of the bed. Later, I discovered that it was good to add one more cross arm to the middle of each post. On each of those arms and the top T piece, I inserted a eye screw onto each end. Then I strung wire from one eye screw along the perimeter of the bed to the other on the opposite side. This allows the raspberries to lean onto the wires for support. You don’t want those canes, weighed down with sweet berries to tumble to the ground. So basically, you’re building a simple raspberry corral to keep those canes in check.
Since I’ve got such a bumper crop of raspberries this summer, I’ve been getting creative with how I’ve been using them. I’ve been discovering lots of super simple and delicious new ways to enjoy my bounty.
- Raspberry Coulis – a thin fruit puree that can be used as a sauce for vanilla ice cream, pound cake or whatever else you can dream up. Put all of the following ingredients in the food processor: four cups of fresh, organic raspberries, the juice of half a lemon, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Puree, pass through a fine sieve, and use immediately or freeze. Makes about one pint.
- Raspberry Granita
- Raspberry Sorbet – You don’t have to have an ice cream machine to make Martha’s delicious recipe for sorbet. Follow the recipe through step three, but instead of freezing for an hour, freeze for several hours. When ready to serve, take the sorbet out of the freezer and let it thaw just long enough until you can break the puree up into pieces. Put the frozen mixture into the food processor and let the food processor run until smooth, a few minutes. Your guests will never know you didn’t have an ice cream machine.
- Freeze for later – lay raspberries out on a baking sheet, freeze completely, and transfer to a zip lock bag to store.
- Raspberry ice cubes – Use your frozen raspberries as ice cubes. Get added flavor and pizazz with out watering down your drinks!
- Float fresh raspberries in a glass of Cava, Prosecco, or Riesling
- Raspberry jam – A classic! Plus, it reminds me of my grandparents, so it’s got to make it into my larder.
And look! I’m not the only blogger loving berries this season. Check out these fabulous recipes!
- Deb’s Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones
- Raspberry Infused Vodka (Tracey shows us the way – just swap out raspberries for strawberries)
- Diana’s Raspberry Mason Jar Pies
- Peach and raspberry crumble
- Baked Oatmeal with raspberries
- Raspberry Lemon Pudding Cakes
So how are you using your berries this season? What are your must-make recipes? Maybe you could come share with me sometime? I’d really love that. I hope you’re relishing in the joys of summer as much as I am.
Stacy (Seattle Seedling)