Raspberry Solstice

It is the week of Winter Solstice and for me this is when the farming season of 2015 ends– when I continue the work in January it is part of next season. In our discussions at Backyard Harvest of how to celebrate this Solstice, one idea was a recipe exchange.

Tonight, after packing Jerusalem artichokes in sand all day, I was reading through Edible  Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada by Nancy J. Turner and Adam Szczawinski. I recommend all of Nancy’s books – they are all about plants, with many lessons from Indigenous peoples. Reading this book last winter I learned about hickory nut soup. The idea of it stayed with me and this fall I found time to research the traditional Cherokee recipe called Ke-nu-che and I will be making it for Winter Solstice with wild rice and local chanterelles gifted to me by a fellow worker at Backyard Harvest. I was intending to re-read Nancy’s version of the recipe but first read about Rowan berry jelly and then Arctic raspberries and then regular wild raspberries. I was expecting things I already know – raspberry jam and the usual deliciousness but I found some recipes that I am excited to try next summer. In the spirit of Winter Solstice, planting seeds of deliciousness with our plant friends (perhaps for the summer Solstice), I here share these fun recipes – with Nancy’s permission. Tomorrow we will be planting many raspberry plants! One of the many highlights of this past season was the raspberry jam Liz made from our Backyard Harvest berries. Miigwetch – thankyou – Earth, Rain, Sun, Raspberries, human friends and more! xo Julia

Raspberry Summer Soup

All these recipes call for varieties of wild raspberries – use the local black caps or cultivated varieties – whatever you are so lucky to find.

2 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup cream

few drops vanilla

1 ½ tbsp sugar

1 cup milk

Blend everything together until smooth. Serve cold, garnish with raspberries and maybe

mint leaves. Serves 4.

Raspberry Shrub

I find this recipe particularly exciting because I made elderberry shrub this year and did not quite know how to prepare it.

4 cups raspberries

1 cup organic apple cider vinegar


Pour vinegar over berries and let stand 4 days. Drain off all liquid, measure and add ¾ cup sugar per 1 cup liquid. Boil gently for 15 minutes.

To serve mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts water and pour over crushed ice.

Raspberry Bread

½ cup butter

¾ cup honey

½ cup milk

1 egg, well beaten

2 cups pastry flour

½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cream of tartar

½ tsp cinnamon

juice of 2 lemons

2 cups raspberries

Cream together honey and butter in a bowl. Stir in milk and egg. Add all the dry ingredients. Mix in lemon juice – blend until smooth. Add raspberries. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until firm.

Raspberry Cooler

2 cups raspberries

2 cups milk

¼ cup sugar

dash salt

1 cup vanilla ice cream

Blend together everything except the ice cream until it is smooth. Add the ice cream and blend on low until well mixed. Serve immediately. Serves 5-7 people.

Raspberry Whip

1 ½ cups raspberries

1 cup powdered sugar

1 egg white, stiffly beaten

2 tbsp red wine

whipped cream and chopped nuts for garnish – optional

Combine all ingredients other than garnishes and beat with a whisk. Put into dessert dishes and refrigerate. Garnish before serving. Serves 3.

Raspberry Sherbet

4 cups raspberries

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 egg white, beaten until stiff.

Extract juice from the berries by heating them slightly, then mashing them and straining. Boil sugar and water for a few minutes to make a syrup. Cool, then add the raspberry and lemon juice – pour into a tray and place in the freezer until the mixture reaches a mushy consistency. Add beaten egg white, stir, replace in freezer. Stir mixture occasionally and allow to freeze until firm. Serves 4.