Thursday, July 14, 2011

What to do when your raspberries look like the morning after "walk of shame"

I've never had much luck in preserving raspberries in the past. That's mostly because I can't stop shoving them in my mouth long enough to do any actually preserving. Several, several summers ago I was especially lucky to have a "raspberry hook up". But all that really came of that were many afternoons sitting by the pool sipping raspberry margaritas and any other libation my girlfriends and I could think to concoct.
I vowed that this summer would be different and I would find a way to work with raspberry preserves. But, with our move, multiple canning projects, and playing mommy to the two wild things tearing through our house at breakneck speed, I've almost missed out on the June season for raspberries. I'll have to be much more vigilant once the August season rolls around.
While at the market yesterday, I snagged three of the best looking 6oz containers I could find. It was no easy task. Most boxes looked a lot like the morning after "walk of shame". And, even though they looked about as fresh as a couple of dorm mates meeting for a greasy breakfast on Sunday, I had big plans.
By the time I had settled the natives down for a nap this afternoon, it was apparent that some of the raspberries just weren't quite up for the after party, further reducing my numbers. But, that was okay. I could still make it work. I didn't necessarily need firm berries for what I had in mind. I just needed ripe and juicy ones. I planned on making a raspberry infused white wine vinegar, the perfect beginning for vinaigrettes and dressings.
It was simple and quick. Well, the work on my part for this evening was quick. But, you will need to let the mix sit for one to four weeks depending upon your tastes, occasionally giving it a stir every few days.

1 cup raspberries, washed.......What? I should have had 2 cups 2oz? I said some had met their dimise. The others simply met my belly. I know. I'm weak. I'm not to be trusted around fruit.

1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar

In a medium sized glass bowl add your berries and 1/4 cup of the vinegar. Give the berries a slight crush with a potato masher. Add the remaining vinegar and stir. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then tuck the mix away in a dark and cool place. Leave for 1 to 4 weeks until your desired strength is reached. The longer the better in my book.
I will finish the recipe and results in a few weeks when I feel that the berries have had plenty of time to think about their actions.