Wednesday, June 18, 2014

first fruits foraged 2014: salmonberries and strawberries (of the frais de bois variety)

Ah, last night! I'm sorry! I was scrubbing chair cushions and the front walk, managed to squeeze in my workout before Cass got home from work, started dinner while he went out for a short 15-minute session on the elliptical, then he came back and we ate and I was asleep maybe 30 minutes later. Woof! Such a day!

Today, not so much. The cool mornings make it hard to get up the motivation and I admit, I'm having one of those days when the unemployment situation really gets me down. It's hard to keep one's chin up. But let's not talk about that. It does no one any good and I'm doing my very best to keep myself cheered up today.

Instead, let's look at these beautiful ruby-red berries, shall we? I thought today merited a two-fer, seeing as I missed yesterday's second post (but I *did* take more pictures - and more today, too; if my improvised plan for dinner tonight turns out tasty - and not gross - I'll share the recipe tomorrow). The top is salmonberry jam. Not a lot of salmonberry jam, but a few jars. I also put one 12-ounce jar in the fridge for Saturday's panna cotta, which we'll serve with the alpine strawberry/wild strawberry/frais de bois (whatever you want to call it) compote below. There really is nothing like an alpine strawberry: they're tiny, and just packed with an unbelievable amount of natural sugar. They make a nice contrast to the panna cotta (which is slightly sour, owing to the inclusion of buttermilk in the recipe), and such a nice taste of the wilds. This is a big half-gallon jar. I actually canned and processed the strawberries this year, since we picked them two weeks before the party and I didn't want to risk the berries - or the compote - going off before the big event. I've been storing them in the fridge, though I suppose there's no real need to. I just feel weird having canned something with so very much space left in the jar.

Alright. More tomorrow! I will continue to be dutiful and get back on top of things around here! Keep your fingers crossed that dinner isn't a disaster - sometimes, when I experiment, it's not successful. I hope, based on the number of hours I've already put in today, that this isn't one of those times!

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