Posts Tagged ‘raspberries


Garden update

Hydroponics: same as last year even with only 2 plants , the leaves started wilting . The massive root ball seems to be too big for the size on the reservoir. Possible next year a single Dutch bucket system for each tomato plant. Shifted to a recirculating system to add more capacity to the nutrients and require less topping off as the growth rate increases the more nutrients are used some days topping off at twice  a day. I occasionally trimmed the plants of shoots , but even just two plants, they grew massive main shoots from the base and went into the budding stages quickly. Don’t know if the plants will survive and continue during the heat wave, as of now none no substantial browning of the leaves buds are intact. Overall I like the type of tomato larger than last years cherry type. We will see about the taste when ripe.  addendum: some of the shoots have regained their strength while some have browned.

Conventional gardening: One of the tomato plants, hydroponically started was transplanted to soil, a small piece of weed stop fabric was used at the base. The growth rate was a bit slower than the hydro system, but there is no signs of stress on the plant. Soil temp is of course cooler than the exposed hydro reservoir. Continued to feed and water it with about the same nutrients as the hydro system. Roughly looks about the same or a bit less fruiting than the hydro system.

If it’s July then it raspberry picking time. No maintenance per say  on the bushes in the yard.  They  have spread into 2 different areas , during the off season they were mowed with a buffer zone between them. One section receives more sun that the other. About a 15 minute pick time today at high noon heat and sun, the midday siesta broken by the occasional sound of mowers, weed wackers and blowers in the hood. Good  harvest, some berries falling from the canes as I move them,  possibly an earlier pick might have yielded more but those on the garden floor may be for the birds or propagation. Today is a 12 ounce yield. July 03 , 1 lb 5oz. July 06 1 lb, 10 3/8 oz. July 08, 1 lb. 11 oz. July 12: 1 lb 2 oz

The berry bushes , side yard, have produced some berries but they quickly disappeared , managed to eat a few while mowing the yard a week or two before. The Viking aronia have some berries may be less than last year. Two cherry bushes have blossomed one is recovering when it got ran over by driving my pickup to the rear door when the basement clean out was underway severing one of the main shoots. After nutrient feed, many base shoots have sprung.

It seems to me through the years the different type of the fruit producing plants either raspberries, tomato or bush cherries have their annual “day in the sun” as far as fruit production.


Mary’s Victoria Sandwich 

Here’s a recipe from the popular (to some) PBS series The Great  British Baking Show.  I scoured the kitchen and pantry to look for ingredients on hand shortly after viewing the program and finding the recipe . A few substitutions to get this recipe completed. (August celebration cake!)

)Recipe link here(

Here are the changes :

Regular eggs in lieu of free range eggs

All purpose flour , added with 1 teaspoon baking soda, instead of self rising flour

Still use the 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Short on unsalted butter, the remainder was salted butter to complete

For the jam, about 3 ounces of raspberry jam made from raspberries from the garden mixed with about 3 ounces of Smuckers raspberry jam. Heated and simmered. Placed on a plate and refrigerated to cool and thicken.

Butter cream, salted butter, in place of unsalted butter.

Parchment circles for the 8 inch pans, used readily available baking spray.

READY !   SET !   B A K E !!!!!

Baking  the sponges, one came out overdone, temperature and attention are required when trying to replicate the recipe precisely. The  end result was delicious.

Cakes , jam and buttercream ready for assembly.

Raspberries jam spread on the cakes…

The completed sandwich…

The cakes were slightly overdone. We had to refrigerate the sandwich as the jelly contained fresh berries, the sandwich holds well in the fridge. The color from the filling  bled over time into the cakes. A good recipe if you like a sandwich cake that is not too sweet with frosting. The sponge recipe is easy to mix.


Raspberry Charlotte

A cake with a creamy fruit mousse, From America Test Kitchen recipe.

Made by Diane.

The recipe has several steps, here are some pictures of the process.


img_0947This was a very airy, light cake .

A fun project to make.


Berry Cherry Crumb Top Cake

A good easy recipe deserves repeat…Crumb top fruit cake , just made with a different combination of fruit.

Made in a large pan , 12X18 , when cooled and  cut into squares, makes an excellent treat and a good lunchbox addition.

Ok , if you want a quick alternative, I supposed you could use a boxed cake mix.

Frozen then  thawed fruit works well as this is what I used here.








Lamb, onion and garlic

Preheat the skillet under broiler, have good potholders available.

Start some rice cooking.

basic recipe with just salt and pepper seasonings.

IMG_5555Broiled Valdalia onions

IMG_5556Remove and reserve the onions, a boneless leg of lamb sliced into chunks, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper added to the pan then  back under the broiler.

IMG_5559add some smashed garlic later so the garlic doesn’t over cook. Continue to broil.

IMG_5560Add the onions back into the skillet just before the lamb is done to your preference.

IMG_5558half and steam up some Brussels sprouts.

IMG_5557About a tablespoon of each butter and flour, stir till melted, splash in some milk, heat and stir, add a slice of cheese. Done.

IMG_5561Rice is ready, serve

IMG_5562Plate it up, smoothie of grapes, raspberries,and banana , a touch of wine for liquid to blend.

This recipe can be cooked again and spiced up, I wanted to taste the lamb without many seasonings.


Crumb top fruit cake (blueberry or your choice)

No doubt you’ve been inundated or perhaps as the spelling checker suggested, intimidated, with recipes for a crumble topping for baking the harvest of fruit you have at your disposal.

This recipe is a change from the gooey crumb topped fruit serving that needs an accompaniment like cake and or ice cream.

This is more like a fruit  or coffee cake.

It goes like this…………

Sift together two cups flour and one and one half cups of sugar. Cut in about two thirds cup butter.

Reserve three quarters cup of the crumbly mixture.

To the remainder, add two teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon salt, two egg yolks, and one cup of milk.

Beat for three minutes.

Meanwhile beat egg whites , two, till fluffy and fold into the batter.

spread into a greased and floured twelve by eighteen inch  pan.

Arrange blueberries (or any other type of fruit) over batter.


Sprinkle top with the reserved three quarters cup of crumb mixture.


Bake at three hundred and fifty degrees for forty to forty five minutes.



Garden update, raspberry harvest

That time of the year again , it’s raspberry season and the the patch is in full bloom with berries.
Staggering pickings with in the next few days as they bulk of them ripens in stages.This year I cut the canes (actually during the fall / winter) down to about 4 ft height and the harvest has been easier to manage rather that a sparse trimming the years before which left the branches long and leggy. About 3 quarts today, and about 2 quarts earlier this week.

20130704-133823.jpgThe raspberries as they appear during the winter.







20130704-134104.jpgthe patch on July4th 2013.



Aside from the obvious meaning of Memorial Day, it also signifies the beginning of outdoor activities season. This year the weather preceding this holiday has been several days of relatively cold and rain. Today promises a warm up. By advertising and media, one is encouraged to have their outdoor grille and swimming pool functioning by this date if you haven’t already done so.
We already have had our propane grille operating, and the charcoal grille has yet to see action. The cool weather this morning, (40ish) and early rise to have a cup of coffee outside, like camping, suggested the better way to cook bacon and toast bagels was on the grille. Nothing like the taste of flame crisped bacon.
Some views of the yard first.




I guess the shrubs like the diet of coffee grounds.





Some pictures taken earlier this month.







Easter 2013

We were hosting Easter dinner this year, using that term loosely, as I am more of a cook than a host. Diane did most of the advance planning such as the menu, and shopping I was tasked with cooking the roast beef and also risotto maker as the kitchen pace picked up, juggling casseroles and dishes around the oven and stove top. My daughter and her friend also arrived early and assisted with the prep.

A popular cut of beef from Dave’s Supermarket , “Spoon Roast”, sirloin

No exotic prep here for the roast, sea salt and tri blend cracked pepper, on a rack over sliced onions, I later added a bit of water to the pan. The temperature gauge facing forward.

A roasted Leg of Lamb

Lamb (brought by our guest) is traditionally served, the roast beef was an alternative if lamb was not preferred.

Risotto, onion and mushroom

spinach strawberry salad

With the addition of the onions, and a mushroom or two in the roasting  pan, and salt and pepper on the roast, I drained the juices from the pan and tasted, no need to add anything, GRAVY !

Ring the dinner bell !

Home cooked goodness, My compliments to all that made it possible.

the desserts, pecan pie, sour cream pound cake, cookies and cupcakes……..

chocolate with whipped cream topping, got to keep the sweet tooths satisfied

popular cake, recipe to be a future posting on the Blog

Mr and Mrs. Easter Bunny


Fruit tarts made with bread dough

With leftover dough, I usually have some leftover when I make a batch of dough for pizza, I would probably roll it out, and using fruit and make sort of a turnover. But after reading a post from Modern Christian Women Mini Muffin Pizza Bites, I grabbed the muffin tin. I used a full size muffin tin instead of mini muffin pan.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces, place in the muffin tins previously buttered and press into place up the sides.


In a cast iron skillet, add butter and fruit with some brown sugar, this step is not probably necessary, but it will give a bit of a glaze to the fruit. Cook a few minutes to soften peaches and defrost the frozen raspberries in this case.


I put two slices of peaches and some raspberries in each muffin cup.

Let rise and bake.



Excellent for breakfast and also to pack for your toolbox table at work coffee break.



If you want them a bit sweeter, mix 10x sugar and milk for a glaze and drizzle.


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