This weekend I bought what were probably my last raspberries of the summer. They looked good at the market, but at the bottom of the container they were either mushy or filled with white fuzz.
To stretch the remaining berries, I made jam using a sour applesauce base of granny smiths and lemon. This trick, from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, made firmer, fruitier preserves than my long-boil strawberry jam. The sour apples' natural pectin helped the jam reach gel stage in only twenty minutes, preventing the sugar from caramelizing and preserving most of the fresh berry flavor. This bright, sunny jam was inexpensive, easy to prepare, and it tastes like July on toast.
The rest of the berries went into muffins, which I shared with other NPR nerds volunteering at Maine Public Broadcasting Network's summer pledge drive. These were a variation on my Blueberry Wheat Muffins recipe; fresh raspberries and lemon peel give them some color and a slightly sour kick. That they were made with local, organic berries and whole wheat flour made them a hit with the crunchy, conscientious devotees of Fresh Air and This American Life.
Between pledge breaks, I made progress on my seed stitch necktie and chatted with a retiree who was knitting a cat blanket for her local animal shelter.
These are my people.
Finally, I hit a modest milestone last week, with my one hundredth post. Thanks to all of you who've been reading, sharing ideas, and trying out recipes. Of the first hundred posts, here are five of my favorites. I can't wait to see what I'll be eating and knitting one hundred posts from now.
1. Tasty Toasted Birdseed (recipe for Toasted Müesli)
5. Roasted Red Vegetable Soup (at Maine Food & Lifestyle)