Posts Tagged ‘raspberries’


Great Scot! It’s Rabbie Burns Day again. By way of honouring the bard, we had cranachan for dessert. Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dish, usually served in the summer, but in modern times also enjoyed on special occasions such as Burns Day. Recipes vary, but all are very simple.

Toast oats, fine or flaked according to personal preference, in a frying pan or on a baking sheet, until lightly browned.

Whip half a cup or so of whipping cream until stiff. Then whip in a couple of tablespoons each of Scottish malt whiskey and runny honey.

In glasses or parfait dishes, swirl together or layer the oats and the cream along with a half pint of fresh raspberries.

There should be enough Scotch left to raise a glass in a toast to one of Scotland’s favorite sons.

For more on Robert Burns, and an interpretation of his poem To a Mouse, follow this link to last year’s Burns post.

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Raspberry season follows hard on the heels of strawberry season. When I visited Dentz Orchard and Berry Farm to pick strawberries, the raspberry season was just beginning. Once I had picked a basket of strawberries, I moved to the raspberry fields. Raspberries grow in a very different manner from strawberries. While strawberries are produced on low-growing plants, close to the ground, raspberries are produced on tall canes.


At pick-your-own farms, the canes are nicely maintained in long rows, with the berries produced well above the ground. You know a raspberry is ready to eat when the gentlest touch releases it from its stem. If you have to tug, the berry isn’t ready to eat. Raspberry plants are vigorous growers and spread quickly by underground shoots that produce new suckers. When the kids were young, there were a few patches of wild raspberries around the property. The wild fruit is generally smaller than cultivated berries. Black raspberries, or Black Caps, were a favorite with the kids.


Strawberries remind me of sunny early-July days, my kids newly out of school on vacation, the whole summer stretching out luxuriously ahead of us. Raspberries take me back to an earlier time, my own childhood. Raspberries grew all along the back fence of my grandparents’ yard. Whenever we visited my grandparents in raspberry season, my sister and I were dispatched to the backyard to pick raspberries. I hated picking raspberries! The canes were prickly and unruly and it seemed to take forever to fill a basket with the small berries. However, I loved eating raspberries! My grandmother used to make raspberry jam and it is still my favorite flavour of jam, no doubt due to sentimental reasons. Raspberry jam in winter is like the sunshine of long-ago summers captured in a jar.

My grandparents

My grandparents

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