Friday, July 11, 2014
week of jam, day four: blackcap raspberry
I just realized I hadn't posted yet. Seattle's experiencing a real heatwave right now and I am feeling the effects - lethargy, crabbiness, man! I do not like it when the temps are over 80 degrees! And yes, I know, I know: 80 degrees? That's ridiculous! It's so much hotter everywhere else in the world! But here's the thing: do you know what the standing record is for number of days (continuous) with temperatures over 80 degrees in Seattle? Fifteen. Fifteen is the RECORD. It just doesn't get that hot here - and after living more than a decade of my life in this city, I'm glad that it doesn't.
Incidentally, the meteorologists are saying we might be starting a hot streak to break that record right now. We're already at day six. Ugh. As the temps rise, I'm glad I finished making jam earlier this week (oh yes, I still have MORE to share with you), and won't have to fire up the stove and heat the canner anytime soon. Which brings us to today's batch o' jam: blackcap raspberries. We've been growing these berries for a couple of years now, and they are finally starting to settle in and really take off, which is exciting! Blackcaps are native to the northeastern United States, and the nice thing about them is that they can grow and fruit in part-shade. We have a lot of shade in our back garden, so it's exciting to see these guys thriving and their fruit harvest starting to really amp up, despite the lack of light. (But oh, that shady back yard is SO NICE in this heat. Yes, at this time of year, every year, I am thankful for the grove of doug fir that blocks the sun to the south, and the hemlock and stand of cedar which block the sun to the west. I don't have nearly the garden I'd like to have at this house because of all the shade, but it is ever-so-nice in the summer - and lovely to look at any time of year, of course). Of course, unfortunately for me, one very round, very fluffy squirrel, has also discovered the blackcaps. Every morning, I have to chase him out of the thicket, the little rascal. Stop eating my raspberries!!
But back to the jam. (Sorry - the heat-addled brain is so easily distracted!) So, what do blackcaps taste like? Kind of like a mild raspberry, and kind of floral - in fact, I added a little rosewater to the mix when I made this jam, to play up that quality.
I've got a few more to share with you - I'll try and remember tomorrow, but the thermostat is going up to 90 (wah!), so I might be busy wilting!!