Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Picking, Gathering, Baking, Preserving

I just love preparing food this time of year - both cooking and baking. The delicious flavors and varieties.

The children have been having fun collecting raspberries from our woods and Abby found a recipe in the King Arthur Catalog (which she loves to look through but we don't generally buy from) for scones and she added raspberries instead and most of the children loved it so she baked some more just two days later.

We have been collecting the chamomile blossoms each day to dry and use for our tea this winter

~chamomile growing in our garden~

~collected and left to dry~

Our neighbor has generously offered to allow our family to pick from their amazing blackberry patch. Many are probably about 10 feet tall. After our first picking, we will be sure to dress better, in long pants and long sleeves with gloves. The thorns are a bit tough. But the work is all worthwhile. We will be going back at least two more times. So far one pie and one blackberry crumb have been made. After buying some organic lemons at the natural foods store today, I will make blackberry jam.

~my favorite pie crust, from one my favorite cookbooks ~ The Amish Cook, by Coblentz & Williams~

~waiting for the bread to rise to put both in the oven~

What are you picking?
Warm wishes,


  1. mmmm....red raspberries....I would eat them all!! I remember picking when I was a young girl...beautiful post, photos, and blog:)

  2. we've been picking mangos! your berries look so delicious!

  3. We are picking lettuce and onions at the moment. Our seasons are different to yours and I can't wait for our berries to be in fruit:) How kind of your neighbour to invite your family to pick from his garden. Lovely photos Tonya:) Thank you for your lovely comment you left at my blog.
    Take care

  4. We are preparing to pick berries as well. I'm looking for a good jam recipe so none got to waste this year though. Yours looks delicious!


  5. yummmm. that pie crust does look delicious.

    we've been busy freezing peaches (from the only organic peach grower in this part of the country, I think!), munching on blueberries + raspberries, canning sour cherries and harvesting so many zuchinnis from our garden. i think this year i will can tomatoes and pears as we only have a small # of the beautiful Weck canning jars left... must get some more of those, they are working out wonderfully.

  6. Yum! It all looks delicious! We have tried growing chamomile many times with no luck...any tips??? Have a blessed day.

  7. We're getting ready to go blueberry picking today!!! I'm SO SO excited! One of my favourite things to make is blueberries with grand marnier, (preserves)...it makes a great little gift for our grown up friends, and is so so yummy on ice cream!
    xo maureen

  8. We live in blueberry country, so we had patiently waiting for them to be ripe and we'll head to the bush to pick our winter's supply. Our raspberries are just beginning to ripen, and so we'll soon be enjoying muffins and coffee cake and perhaps even some jam if quantities permit. We so appreciate God's bountiful supply.

  9. Oh, the goings on in your household remind me of us!
    We've been picking too- calendula and their dried seeds, mint, garden veggies, wild black raspberries (though now they're past), and later this week we're going to the local blueberry farm.

  10. Amazing blackberries!! We get a few around our garden, but only enough to pick and eat on the spot. :o)
    Your baking looks yummy!

  11. Blueberries and green beans -- actually pink tip beans. They are so pretty!

  12. Oh. My. Goodness. Your fruit looks delectable. Greg just planted some raspberry bushes here. You have to mortgage your house to buy good ones at the store. There are berries on the bush, so hopefully we will get a few later. Those blackberries are tremendous! Greg planted a few of those too.
    We are picking eggplant,cucumber, basil and squash right now.
    I love your egg basket by the way.
    Hey how do you make tea from the dried chamomile? Do you throw the dried plant in a pot of hot water to steep? How much do you use?

  13. Mmm your pie looks fabulous! I love blackberries! We have been picking, canning, blanching, pickling and baking up a storm here too! We have so many tomatoes and cucumbers.

    Matter of fact my strawberry jam took 2nd place at the county fair! (can you tell I'm just a bit proud of that?)

  14. Fresh, wild blackberries: I ate so many when pregnant with my daughter that whenever topic of that pregnancy comes up, Rose (now 3) says "and i was in your belly eating blackberries!"

    We are harvesting tomatoes, carrots and knocking ourselves out with nightly salads from the garden.

  15. This is my first year I have ever tried to grow anything. We have been blessed to grow and pick just a few veggies. We are picking all kinds of peppers, banana, bell, habanero. We are also picking roma tomatoes...still waiting for the heirlooms to turn for picking. Everything everyone has harvested sounds so good!

  16. We too have been picking chamomile to dry for tea. It is one of the few chores that the kids enjoy and can accomplish without my watching. We have several wild raspberry patches the kids pick from daily. I picked strawberries at a friends the other day and made strawberry rhubarb jam. It is almost time to pick cultivated raspberries and wild blueberries, and then the jam and syrup making will be in full swing around here.

  17. Oooh, your pie looks just wonderful!
    Blackberries are my favourite. It is an annual tradition of ours to go blackberrying in the woods in late summer.But you are right the thorns are fierce!
    I love chamomile tea, it's so soothing.
    We've been picking and drying nettles tips and mint for tea over summer.
    I'll have to go in search of some local wild chamomile patches now too I think :)

  18. I've been picking lots of berries as well - freezing many of them. I've also frozen sliced peaches. I just picked a bunch of green beans yesterday. I will be canning them as dilly beans. I will also head out to the garden this week to pick lots of basil and start making pesto to freeze (that tastes so good in the middle of the winter). And soon the tomatoes will be here - a big canning job but very satisfying!

  19. If you can not be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.............................................................

  20. Oh wow, a real live blackberry patch! My son would be beside himself with joy if we had access to blackberries like that - he loves 'em, as do I.

  21. Oh how I wish we had a blackberry bush like that!! Look how they glisten in that bowl! We do have lots of other yummy pickins in these parts. Probably lots of the same that's happening in Vermont. Blueberries and raspberries are making way for peaches... and lots of string beans!

  22. Wow. That blackberry pie looks divine!! xo m.

  23. What an amazing bowl of blackberries. We always picked in the UK but I haven't seen any growing wild here in NZ yet - will have to keep a sharp eye out for the flowers this spring. x