Well Hello Summer – It’s Time to Break out the Berries!

I’ve got my new summer sandals on, a lovely shade of yellow gold, and it is not only sunny but also warm! We Oregonians wait like patient children for the warmth to come our way and it is usually in June that we get a hint or two of days above 60 degrees. It’s hard to watch the rest of the country hitting the upper 80’s and 90’s, while we get 60 degree days that are cloudy with brief sun visits My neighbor, a recent transplant from back east, said she heard her bathing suit calling to her in early June but the weather obviously didn’t hear that call!

It’s exactly this teasingly long springtime that makes Oregon berries so delicious. While their berry cousins in other parts of the US are already getting close to harvest, Oregon blackberries and raspberries are still hanging on the vine and taking their own sweet time to ripen. And “how sweet it is” to quote the famous Mr. Jackie Gleason. That long ripening time makes Oregon berries worth waiting for through every soggy winter day. Just one bite makes you know it is really summertime!

Summer in full swing means long lazy family evenings on the deck or patio and impromptu get-togethers with friends and neighbors. If you want to be prepared for summer treats suitable for both young and old be sure to have the fixings for the two best summer recipes I know of – Berry Sorbet and Blackberry Martinis.

I keep a quart jar of simple syrup on hand in the fridge to make the Martinis, it is a cinch to make and will keep for three months if refrigerated. The sorbet requires no ice cream maker just your freezer and if you want it to be kid friendly use apple juice concentrate in place of the liqueur.

I’ll be here on the deck, reading a decadent summer novel and sipping away…

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