Rediscovered Treasure … Squandered
May 23, 2008
The other day, I was cleaning out the freezer and I hit pay dirt. I found a pint of frozen raspberries from my grandparents’ garden. When they came to Chicago last August for our wedding, they arrived bearing a small Igloo cooler, packed with a Ziploc of fresh herbs, tucked inside paper towels; a cucumber, completely free of that weird supermarket wax; and a mother load of tiny raspberries. I felt so lucky to get the contents of that cooler, which I knew were the product of a garden my grandpa had been working on as early as the preceding winter, in his greenhouse. I made sure we used the herbs and cucumber before we left for our honeymoon and, after popping a couple like candy, I nestled the berries in the freezer.
And every few weeks, I’d excavate one of the pints for just the perfect use, thinking of my grandparents as I made whatever it was I was making. And then, when it was still very much winter, I sadly used up the final bit of my cache.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & a plea for a recipe.)
Or so I thought! I was actually engaged in aforementioned freezer cleaning because I was making this quick bread and I was sure I had some frozen wild blueberries (from the Whole Foods freezer section, not a northern Minnesota garden; sigh) tucked in there somewhere. When I couldn’t find them without cartons of ice cream and bags of nuts raining down on me, I decided I needed to clean the freezer right then and there. (By the way: this scene is a sad little glimpse into “what Kristin does in her spare time during a week off.”)
As I neared the final frigid depths of the freezer, I began to fear that the wild blueberries were no longer there, used up in some muffins or somesuch long ago. And I got sad that my quick bread would go unmade. But that’s when I caught a glimpse of something magenta and slightly freezer burned. Could it be?!? And it was. A lonely little container of the last (really, this time) of the raspberries.
After putting the freezer back together (in a much more organized and slimmed down way), I got started on the bread. I’ve been hunting for a yogurt-based quick bread recipe that’s low on the bad stuff (butter, egg yolks, sugar) and high on the good stuff (yogurt, of course, but also whole grains). I couldn’t find one so I invented one. And, well, whoops. It was not my prettiest work by a long shot. The center collapsed into a slumping, defeated divot. And, even though I ate it, I’m pretty sure I only did so because I couldn’t bare to see my re-discovered raspberries go to waste. It was pretty bland, not sweet enough (note to self: a large loaf of bread with only a 1/4 cup of honey as a sweetener is just not going to fly) and, while the innards were extremely moist, the outer edges were rubbery. So it’s back to the drawing board. If you know of a recipe that fits the bill, please let me know. Me and next year’s crop of berries would appreciate it.