Late yesterday afternoon I picked our first ripe raspberries of the season. I could have harvested them a day or two earlier but . . . I just didn't get to it.
A nice bunch went home with our daughter for her fresh eating and then after hubby and I each sampled one or two (or ten or twelve), I decided to freeze the remaining ones because we still have fresh strawberries in the refrig that need to be eaten up.
To freeze, I spread the berries out on a cookie sheet then place them in the freezer for a few hours . . . or overnight if I forget about them.
When they're frozen I just shovel them into a freezer bag and pop them back in the freezer. Couldn't be simpler. The bags in the freezer are then ready for making jam at a later date, using in desserts (Winter Raspberry Crumble Pie or Raspberry Shortcake or Raspberry Muffins), fruit in smoothies, over ice cream, oh my, the list goes on and on.
I can tell the raspberry harvest is not going to be fantastic this year. Last year's harvest was really good so I guess the plants deserve an off year. It almost seems as if the strawberries and raspberries take turns alternating huge crops. And with the strawberry harvest we have just had, we'll not be hurting for berries if the raspberries aren't as plentiful. Besides, the blueberries are still to come!
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I planted several types of berry bushes last year, so we aren't nearly up to snuff with you yet...but I can't wait! Your berries make my mouth water!
Why bother freezing them on cookie sheets? Is it because you bag them?I just put them into plastic containers and freeze. They're like blueberries in that they stay separate and un-mushed.
Apple Pie Gal - Ya, it takes a year or two for them to get established but then with good care they last a looong time. You'll enjoy them and you'll never have trouble getting rid of any excess!
JJ - Well, I see an experiment coming on! I've always had trouble with raspberries mooshing together if I don't freeze them on the cookie sheets before packaging. Could it be that there's that much difference in moisture content of raspberries? I do as you do with blueberries; just put them in their freezer containers (I use the bags) and they stay un-clumped.
Next picking that I put in the freezer, I'll try again your way.
I always separate mine to freeze on a sheet, too! Hmmm, except that this year none made it into the freezer! That's a good thing, though, it means the kids are eating more fruit. Although, Finn has claimed the raspberry patch as "his" to which Loch replies "no fair, maaaaaaaaaaa!" Guess I will have to plant more! Another bonus, I don't have to harvest since Finnegan skips his happy self out every morning and comes back with a bowl for his bran flakes LOL!
Erin - That is so cute that Finn goes out every morning to harvest his berries for his cereal. Tell him that's how I like them, too. In my cereal!
Yes, looks like you're going to have to add to your berry plantings . . . you need his and his patches. :o)
These look marvelous! I can't wait for my red raspberry plants to grow up and present me with loads of lovely berries. You freeze them like I freeze blueberries.
Leigh - I think raspberries are especially great to grow on the homestead because they don't travel well at all in shipping and are SO expensive in the store. Also mold easily if you don't use or process them quickly. They're my favorite, hubby would choose strawberries.
Now I won't be able to pronounce them any other way....
Susan - Sorry 'bout that. (Tee-hee!)
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