Berries, Berries…and MORE Berries!

Berries, berries, and more berries! I hope you liked my first installment enough to come back for the different variations. I tried macerating them a few more ways. Not all of them are pictured for two reasons, one I am new to the whole photography thing and a lot of my early on shots were just not appetizing. I had to do a lot of research to figure out lighting and all that jazz, and I still don’t have the best hold on it. Reason two, though the flavors combinations were all very unique and interesting, the shots of berries sitting in a bowl with some herbs and spices were not. Reason three is my favorite and also explains why getting this blog up has been slow going and why posts may be choppy at first, but it needs its own paragraph so hopefully you won’t mind a little insight into my life before I get to the berries.

In the span of about four weeks I’ve had more going on than I usually do in a whole year. I got engaged to my awesome and very patient and supportive boyfriend Mike, met his parents for the very first time, and we are currently in the process of moving into our first apartment together. So my weekends have been take up with trying to move all of our stuff, lot’s of trips to Ikea, and the oh so fun task of beginning to plan a wedding. I’m including a pic from the day we got engaged just because I can.

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So now that you know what has been going on with me, hopefully you will understand why I still have a lot of kinks to work out in this blog. Fingers crossed that you’ll stay with me during the adjustment period. But now, back to those berries…

First up is a rosemary, vanilla, and brown sugar version. This turned out to be one of my favorites when paired with the shortcake. I used a bourbon based vanilla that worked out really well flavor wise. Once again I tossed a pint of Bishops strawberries with about 1/3 cup brown sugar, a tablespoon of the vanilla, and some fresh rosemary from my mom’s herb garden. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the rosemary and vanilla combination. The scents of both together were delightful.

On to the next combination which turned out to be my future husband’s favorite. He was hesitant at first and thought I had too many flavors going on but quickly came around after sampling a spoonful.  I tossed a pint of berries with a healthy tablespoon of maple syrup from Lamothe’s Sugar House, about teaspoon each of orange zest and fresh ginger and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. It was ok with the shortcake, but we both felt it would be delicious over some pancakes. Side note- his mom bought him a heart shaped pancake mold and I make him make me heart shaped pancakes with it when it’s his turn to cook breakfast. Hopefully we will get a picture of that the next time he does. He looks very cute in an apron!

I did a third combination with another pint of berries, some fresh sage, a teaspoon of lemon zest, and a tablespoon of both lemon juice and honey. Very refreshing and would be great over some vanilla ice cream.

And last but not least another pint of berries macerated with about 1/4 cup sugar, zest and juice of one lime, about two tablespoons of fresh mint and about a tablespoon of fresh thyme. The herbs came from Bishop’s Orchard. After tasting this one I decided it definitely needed to be turned into a cocktail so I added the pint of macerated berries to Sunset Meadow Vineyard rose, Sunset Blush vineyard, added an ounce of grand marnier for good measure and had myself a delightful Sangria reminiscent of a mojito and oh so refreshing in the summer heat.

I promise the vineyard visit posts will start soon. Got to get that passport stamped!

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