Friday, July 09, 2010
Rise and shine, it's berry time. And that means it's time when my partner gets to play "row boss" and relive her childhood of picking berries. But now it comes with discovering we actually love picking berries, being among the rows of juicy orbs, taking our dog with us, and checking to see if we've arrived on The Perfect Day of Harvest.
And so it came to be, we popped in at the local farm to just pick two pints of raspberries for the raspberry sherbet I wanted to make. Lo and behold, it was The Perfect Day of Harvest and though we hadn't planned on picking and jamming that day, it was meant to be. So off we went. Wink and I picked a few. But the Master Picker I was with picked buckets. Buckets! See photo above. All kinds of berries were ripe; raspberries, blackberries and currants. We sampled and picked, and here is what we know....
Raspberries taste as bright as they look, but they're delicate and gorgeous. Delightfully sweet they deliver a tang right on the middle of your tongue. I think they might be my favorite. If I were to have a favorite.
Sylvan blackberries are juicy explosions that burst in your mouth. To me, they taste like summer. Firm and plump, they're tart and rumor is, they make a fantastic pie. I think if you look up blackberry in a dictionary, a photo of a Sylvan blackberry would be there. Side note: some of the Sylvan's we picked in the field were super sweet, almost as sweet as a Chester, I was told by my row boss.
Loganberries are soft, pastel, and taste very much as if influenced by the raspberries. They almost dissolve in your mouth and are fleeting and delicate. Summer magic.
Tayberries? Tayberries. These are the berries we've used the past several years for our jam making, and this season's crop did not let us down. Tayberries are subtle and juicy, sweet without being cloyingly so. They are amazingly floral, giving depth to the jam. I made a little side batch of Tayberry jam with lavender: those flavors were just meant to go together.
As the season continues, there will be more Oregon berries to pick. I'm not sure which is more fun: picking berries on a sunkissed day with someone you love, or sharing a jam scone with the one you love in February made with jam from berries you picked together on a sunkissed summer day. For now? I'll choose summer.