Monthly Archives: July 2016

Blackberry/Chipolte BBQ Sauce

Blackberry/Chipolte BBQ SauceWouldn’t you like to try Blackberry/Chipolte BBQ Sauce? I made it here with grilled chicken but this can be used in lots of ways. It’s a great thing to do with extra blackberries. The blackberries give it a tremendously rich vibrant color.  I’m calling it a formal rustic sauce because it is so beautiful, that the ease in which its made and the smoky flavor it packs is a total surprise.  Along with being delicious and beautiful, this is a way you can use the overly juicy or somewhat squished berries in something other than jelly. It’s also adjustable. Once it’s cooked down a bit, taste it. You can add more chipotle if it isn’t spicy enough or you can add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

ingredientsIngredients:

A bowl full of Blackberries – I used around 9 ounces, but you can see it is basically a cereal bowl full.  Don’t critically measure because it isn’t necessary.
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke – Mesquite
1Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1 or 2 Chipolte Peppers and some of the sauce from the can (you can add more once it melds together and you taste it)  You can see the brand I used in the photo, but that is not critical.  Homegrown peppers are best of course.

Directions:

combine Combine everything in a saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer while stirring often.  Once the berries have a chance to cook a little mash them into the sauce with a potato masher to release all of their juice.  Continue to simmer about 10 minutes.  The sauce will be a vibrant dark wine color and the sauce will coat the back of a spoon easily.  Get a clean spoon, dip it in and cool your sample enough to taste it.  If you think the sauce needs more spice add it at this point and cook another 5 minutes.

cookHere is a photo of what it looks like while it is bubbling.  I skimmed off the light colored bubbles and discarded them just like you would do if you were making tomato sauce.

Once you are happy with the taste, you need to carefully pour it through one of those wire mesh strainers into a bowl.  Use a strainer that is about 6 inches in diameter because a really small one won’t do.  Use a bowl that is larger than the strainer.  The purpose is to strain out all the seeds and pepper skins.  I ended up with about 1/2 of a cup of seeds and skins.  Use a large spoon and gently move the seeds around in the strainer to get the maximum amount of sauce into your bowl.

Voila!  That’s all there is to it.  I separated out some to use as a brush on glaze on the grill.  Afterwards, I poured more of the sauce on straight – it was that good.

2016 Berry Season has Ended

There are no more pick days this summer.  Thank you to everyone who came out to pick berries in our new, old-fashioned way.  “Old-fashioned” in the sense that you manually picked into a bucket that you carried and “new” in the sense that these are thornless varieties and are easily accessible on level terraces.  We enjoyed meeting everyone and hope you put us on your summer “to-do” list for next year.  Berry season starts right about the time school lets out for summer vacation.

Blackberry JellyJelly from Frozen Fruit?

Did you know that you can make jelly from frozen fruit?  You can, and it turns out great if you have frozen your berries with care.  Freezing them in good heavy bags, with little to no air is best. I don’t own a vacuum-sealer that removes the air and seals the food like shrink-wrap.  Good heavy freezer bags work fine for me.  I remove a lot of the air with a straw while zipping it shut.  If you want to be able to measure out your individual berries you need to freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet first.  Then put them into bags.  Cobblers, ice cream and numerous other tasty things can be made from frozen berries including jelly and toppings.  To make jelly, once your berries thaw, keep the juice, don’t drain them.  Jelly seems to work best with a small amount of under-ripe berries mixed in with the ripe ones.  These under-ripe berries help the jelly to gel better and also increase the fruitiness since they are tart even after freezing.  Using frozen fruit gives you the convenience of making jelly when you want and allows you to make mixed fruit jellies with things that don’t ripen at the same time.  I always wondered how they made things like blueberry/pomegranate jelly.

New RoofThe Roof Project

You may recall that at the very beginning of berry season, our barn roof needed replaced. See this older post. It was quite an inconvenience but a necessary one since the old one leaked through all the patches and it rained quite often at that time.  Now that the roof is finished, it hasn’t rained significantly for a month. That roof was a huge project that required a lot of work and had a large learning curve.  It’s success was overshadowed by the berry picking, but it was a job well done.  Thank you to friends, neighbors, and family members who helped – it is beautiful, and we couldn’t do it without you.

What’s Next?

We will be pruning the blackberries in a few weeks.  Until then, we need to catch up on things that got pushed back like harvesting garlic, repairing water lines, fixing our driveway, turning compost… and on and on.

Berry Picking Encore!

Beautiful LadiesEncore berry picking performance!  We will be open on Sunday July 3rd to pick. Early pick 6AM – 10AM and Late pick 5PM to 9PM.  There are still berries and this mom and daughter team found a lot of both blueberries and blackberries during this last pick.  They are also some of our best customers and win the title of most return visits.  You know its a good thing when it deserves an encore.

2016 BlackberriesWhat’s left?

More blackberries are ripening daily and will continue to ripen for the next few days.  The blueberries are almost finished but there are still some left.  Any that were shaded are ripening a little later.  You will need to bend down to find them though. Smaller kids totally have the advantage in picking the blueberries because they can see them easier.  It seems that keeping the berries in the bucket may be more difficult for the younger kids. Some early pickers did find some red raspberries on Thursday.

Eatin BerriesCobblerHere is a cutie that couldn’t wait to eat some berries even though her mom was planning to fix a wonderful dessert.  Luckily, enough berries made it home to complete this terrific cobbler.  Thanks for the photos, Veronica.  What a great way to spend the day and to top it all off with cobbler is even better.

Is this the last pick day?

We are not sure, but its definitely getting close to the end.  Bottom line is to get them while you can.