Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is my 'other' life

While the market is closed, I still have farm responsibilities. This includes fixing dinner every night for our combining crew. I prepare a meal, load it into my truck, drive it out to the field, set up a table and chairs.

I enjoy seeing my husband and
listening to the stories
about how the crews day is
going. On this evening I
brought out BBQ ribs, coleslaw,
watermelon, bread and homemade
Heath Bar crunch ice cream.

And I do it all again the next day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marionberry Barbecue Sauce

This coming Sunday, July 25, will be our last day for summer berries. We will be closed until our fall raspberries and blueberries are ready for picking; usually early September. In the meantime, let's play with our food!
I am frequently on the look-out for new recipes using Oregon's original berry, the marionberry. I came across an excellent recipe in Sunset magazine and then I tweaked it to fit our family's palate. This sauce is good on chicken, pork and turkey. Give it a try. (I love the color of marionberries after they are blended.)

Marionberry Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups marionberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tea. ground ginger
1/2 tea. ground black pepper
1 tea. Tabasco Sauce
1 tab. Frank's Redhot Original Sauce

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marion and boysenberries are starting soon!

We will open up our marionberry and boysenberry fields for picking on Saturday, July 10th. The price will be $1.75 a pound for you-pick and $2.75 a pound for ready-picked fruit. The best picking for these berries is the first 7 to 10 days; the size and quality will decrease as the season goes on. And our marionberries are certified by the State of Oregon as official marionberries. Don't be fooled by other farms who advertise 'marionberries' but really sell blackberries.

I love marionberries for their sweet taste and ease of picking. But my favorite berry is the boysenberry. Have you ever had a boysenberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That is summer to me.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jam recipe taste test

Last week our family and friends had a blind jam tasting. I made three batches of strawberry jam, using three different recipes calling for three very different amounts of sugar. I made all the jam using Puget Reliance strawberries. I was very surprised by the results.

Recipe 1) typical freezer jam recipe; 4 cups of fruit, 6 cups of sugar and 1 cup corn syrup.

Recipe 2) lower sugar recipe; 4 cups of fruit and 3 cups of sugar.

Recipe 3) lowest sugar recipe; 4 cups of fruit and 1 1/2 cups sugar.

I set out the bowls marked A, B and C. I served the jam with fresh, homemade bread. I also served salty crackers and pickles to counteract the sweetness of the jam. We all were very surprised at the overwhelming favorite.

We all thought Recipe 3 had the best 'fresh' strawberry flavor. Recipe 2 was good too. Recipe 1 was by far the least liked by all. I am changing the way I make freezer jam from now on... no more 'loaded with sugar' for our family.

And if you are curious, the pectin I used for recipe 3 is 'Instant Pectin' made by Ball. I liked the ease of the recipe and the taste so much, I am selling it in our market.

I challenge you to do your own taste test and let me know what your family and friends prefer.


Monday, July 5, 2010

wedding ring

To the person who lost their wedding ring at Columbia Farms, please call us again. The phone number you left is no longer in service.