ollalieberry picking

June 12, 2013

They have "pick yourself" apples in the fall.

We aren't the only one who like the berries!

Pick the blackest ones!

My ancient Rowan Tweed ribbed pullover is my special warm pulli for chilly beach weather!

Found at the farm stand, naturally we had to bring some home!
Sparkle like jewels!

Each year about this time we take a drive to berry country in Santa Cruz County to pick ollalieberries at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, CA.  Ollalies are a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry and are very similar to a blackberry but with a tendency to be larger and less seedy, plus they are my husband's favorite berry.   The drive takes less than an hour and has been a tradition for at least 30 years and we always make a fun day of it.  After we picked our fill, 28 pounds worth, we headed to a farm stand for a bag of the artichokes that also grow in the area, then made our way to Capitola Beach for a late lunch at a waterside cafe before heading home.  The day was  perfectly gorgeous!

When we get home the berries go right into the refrigerator and we deal with them the next day, too tired!  However, we did make an easy sorbet last night.  It is as beautiful as any jewel and tastes like nothing else under the stars!

This morning we work up early and made 22 jars of jam, some half pints and some full pint jars.  So many, but they will be gone in a year!  My son loves this jam and he will take home a jar each time he visits.   Throughout the year I'll make some jam tarts and use jam for a few other recipes, but mostly it will be on toast.  I'll give away a few jars as gifts and by next year, we'll be out and ready to do it all over again.

We save some berries for fresh eating and for giving away.  They only last a few days even under refrigeration.  The rest of the berries go into the freezer for smoothies and pies, I make one every Father's Day so that will be in a few days.   The Ollalieberry special below is heaven!  Here are the links!

Gizdich Ranch for directions and picking schedule

Most gorgeous color, don't you think?

Ollalie Sorbet

In saucepan, heat to boiling 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups water.  Boil one minute.
Put 4 cups washed fresh ollalieberries in blender.  Add hot sugar and water mixture, 
plus the juice of 1 small lemon and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Puree in food processor.
Strain through a fine strainer and discard pulp and seeds.  Refrigerate for 3 or more hours.
Process cold liquid in an ice cream maker until frozen.  
Makes one pint and lasts a few days in the freezer.

It is so good!

I've got a few posts planned for this week.  I still want to sort through my Mendocino pictures and find some links for you.  As usual we are completely busy with garden chores and recently did a HUGE clean out of attic, garage and garden.  What a relief to have a big job like that behind us.  Also, knitting like a fiend and have lots to share when I can get some pictures.  Until next time, have a great week!  And if you are on Facebook, please like my Knitionary page.  I've been adding a lot of fun things that don't make it to my blog.  xoxo

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  1. You have done it again. What beautiful photos.

  2. Wow, that looks like a fantastically fun day! Reminds me of berry-picking when I was a kid: it's blueberries in Michigan! And strawberries too.

    We actually went to visit a friend in Santa Cruz after we left SF - if I'd known about this beforehand, I might have encouraged him to take us there! Ah well, next time!

  3. Kristen, You do know I am learning how to cook through you! Fabulous.


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