Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That


6 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained well
6 cups filtered or bottled water
2 tablespoons tartaric acid
Granulated sugar

1. Put blackberries in large, heat-resistant glass bowl or non-reactive container. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and stir in tartaric acid. Pour water over berries, cover, and let rest for 6 hours or overnight.

2. Place strainer over large pitcher. Rinse clean, linen tea towel in cool water, squeeze out excess, and line the strainer with towel. Strain the berry/water mixture without pressing on or crushing the berries. Discard resulting solids.

3. Measure volume of strained liquid and transfer to large nonreactive saucepan. Add sugar equal to the juice's volume and heat over low heat, stirring until dissolved.

4. Cool and store tightly covered in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before serving. To serve, mix 2-3 tablespoons with water, seltzer, or white wine over ice.

~*~ Tartaric acid, a natural acidic compound found in fruits like grapes or tamarind, is used in wine making and has one very common by-product, cream of tartar. It can be found in wine and beer-making supply stores and online.



2 cups fresh unblemished raspberries, about 1 pound
2 cups granulated sugar

1. Carefully pick over and clean berries. Put berries in large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Using forks or potato masher, mash berries until liquefied, with no trace of berries left.

2. Transfer to clean jars and refrigerate at least 2 days before using. Sugared raspberries will keep up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 cups.

~*~ Smash raspberries with equal amounts of sugar, refrigerate it, will produce a very delicious raspberry preserve. It will last for months in the refrigerator, making the treats of summer enjoyable long into the fall and winter.

With the south celebrating with Masks and Drinks this week and myself being up north surrounded by snow and ice, the hands that are bored just doodle...no fine art, just boredom and doodling...masks of all kinds...and thoughts of the many masks people wear that hide what and who they are race through the brain waves...