Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raspberry and Honeysuckle Memories

We have raspberry canes behind our house. These just grow wild, but we never seemed to pick any before the birds got to them. This year some raspberry canes started growing over by the gardens and were loaded with berries. So, as they started to ripen, I would pick them everyday. Each day would yield a handful of berries, which I would collect and we would have in yogurt or over cereal. Whatever was left over went in the refrigerator to save up for making something big. Finally I had enough saved and I made raspberry muffins. They were delicious. The recipe I used is at the end of this post.

Our honeysuckle is in bloom right now and always a-buzzing with bees. It smells just like summertime to me.

Picking raspberries and smelling honeysuckle triggered some childhood memories for me. I grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Pennsylvania with my seven brothers and sisters. Once we were into summer vacation we would spend the days rambling about the fields and in the woods. When the raspberries were ready for picking we would go trekking through the fields to the berry bushes which grew along the edges and where the fields couldn't be cultivated. It was great fun and we would be gone for hours, picking and eating berries.

Sometimes we would walk over to my Grandparents house, which we called The Farm because it was the main part of the dairy farm. It was 1 1/2 miles from our house. These were just country roads and they didn't have very much traffic at all. The honeysuckle grew wild all along them and we would stop and pick the flowers and pull the bottom off and get a sweet drop of nectar from each flower, to drop on our tongue.

I hadn't thought about those days for years. It's funny how doing something or a smell or a song can really take you back through the years. The brain is an amazing thing, how it stores memories and how they are triggered back to our consciousness.

Well, so much for my walk down memory lane. Here is the recipe I used for the Raspberry Muffins. It worked out well because I had just over a cup of berries.

Raspberry Cream Muffins
from allrecipes.com
Submitted by Stephanie Moon


1 cup fresh raspberries
14 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup finely chopped vanilla or white chips
2 Tablespoons brown sugar


1. In a small bowl, toss raspberries with 1/4 cup of sugar; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cream. Stir in chips and reserved raspberries.

2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine brown sugar and remaining sugar; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Here's a picture of how mine turned out. I didn't put the sugar/brown sugar on top. I didn't want them to be too sweet. And I only used 1/2 cup of white chocolate chopped up in them because that's all I had.


Sarah said...

Hi Cindy, you left such a nice comment on my blog that I had to take a look at yours. Your post today struck a chord with me because a)we called my grandparents' place The Farm, as it had been a working farm for many many years (but wasn't by the time my dad was grown up) and b)when I was a kid we grew so many raspberry bushes we became quite clever in all our raspberry recipes. I don't think I realized until I was an adult how fortunate we were to be able to casually walk outside and pick a quart of raspberries for a recipe! I'd love to try your rasberry cream muffins, they sound great! Sarah
p.s. the other thing that stuck out was your mention of honeysuckle and bees. I LOVE the smell of honeysuckle and listening to the bees in it.

Alyson said...

Sounds like a wonderful, ideal childhood! And yummy looking recipe. I remember getting the nectar from honeysuckles too. It's been ages since I've tasted that.

Cindy said...

Sarah - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I must appreciate these raspberries now even though I can't take a half day ramble through the countryside to get them.

Alyson - Yes, I was lucky to have mostly an idyllic youth. But don't let my sugar-coated memories fool you - we had our share of angst! LOL.

Wendy Christensen said...

Thanks for the recipe! I have to try them :) - they sound OH SO YUMMY...

Bee said...

Oh, I have such a strong childhood memory of the smell on honeysuckle. I planted a honeysuckle vine underneath my kitchen window, but it isn't growing fast enough to suit me.

Raspberries are one of the great treats of an English summer. We never had them when I was growing up in Texas. I'm going to try these soon . . . and maybe tomorrow!

Cindy said...

Wendy - I'm sure you will like them. They were very good.

Bee - I hope your honeysuckle gets some blooms so you get some scent.