Summer Means Berries Berries Berries

Foxglove and Grapevine

We all love new things, like finding this foxglove among the grapevines, and having a choice- but in summer why do you have to choose? I find myself overflowing with things to do this fire energy season and want to make the most of my time. So that leads me to combining my effort and increasing the sweetness that is summer. You can too!

We love our fruit trees and berry plants, it’s a family tradition from way back. Every year is different of course. I’m anticipating a bumper crop of pears but the apples seem to be sparse. Our berries are rebounding from our foundation work last year – and the cherry tree we had to cut down is growing green again! The big surprise is the mulberry tree. A few years ago I used the tree in an exhibit of printmaking and book art by Kumi Korf, and afterwards we planted it in my yard. This year the mulberries plentiful- still green but very promising!
Mulberry Tree

Meanwhile I have contented myself with rhubarb! This garden favorite is so versatile- it can be used for sweet or savory toppings. Here I’ve poached the slender baby rhubarb with mixed berries for a fruit sauce
Baby Rhubarb in situ
Rhubarb Fruit Sauce
Always remove the leaves as they contain toxins. Chop the rhubarb. Mix equal parts water and sugar-I had a small bunch of baby rhubarb so 1/4 c each. Bring to a boil. Add a dash of vanilla and squeeze of lemon juice. Stir until dissolved and add the rhubarb. Cook 5 minutes until tender, add a handful of mixed market berries, cook 2 minutes more or until desired thickness. Keep stirring gently until you take it off the heat.
rhubarb fruit compote

Perfect over ice cream anytime or French toast for brunch! For variety spike it with your favorite liqueur.

And if you want cake with that adapt your favorite Upside Down cake to include rhubarb, or try this splendid recipe from Melissa Clark.
I did—and there is none left!
Rhubarb Uside Down Cake

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