Wild Raspberries

Wild RaspberriesNestled in the pine beetle-infested cockles of south-central BC, along the Cariboo Highway waaaaaay past the mountains is a sleepy little valley with a really strange name:

108 Mile House (along with a handful of other stops along this route) were once inns for American prospectors back in the 1850s providing a chance to rest and avoid bear attacks between civilization and the big Barkerville mines up North. Nowadays it’s a quiet little spot with a museum, clean public restrooms, poorly marked mountain biking trails, pissed-off looking cows and acres of wild raspberry bushes.

I’d never seen raspberries in the ‘ol wide open before! There my wife and I were, only a quarter mile from the highway, turning the map ‘round and ‘round in the dwindling light wondering if the local farmers would ever find our bodies when Crystal, surveying the endless meadow says, “Well, at least we won’t starve…” The bushes we’d been riding by for the last couple ‘o hours were all exploding with tiny red miracles of flavour. (more…)

Read More

Mountain Blueberries

Mountain Blueberries 1I wish I knew half what the flock of them know
Of where all the berries and other things grow,
Cranberries in bogs and raspberries on top
Of the boulder-strewn mountain, and when they will crop.
I met them one day and each had a flower
Stuck into his berries as fresh as a shower;
Some strange kind–they told me it hadn’t a name.

– Robert Frost, Blueberries (more…)

Read More

BBQ Pork Spareribs with Blackberry Hoisin Sauce

BBQRib1This BBQ Sauce is as close to an original recipe as I’ve ever come up with. I know, nothing is new and every recipe has already been thought of by someone, but I take some pride piecing this frankensauce concept together. It’s a traditional American backyard BBQ sauce at heart (with a built-in balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty that I learned from Nick at Memphis Blues BBQ House) with summer blackberry sweet-tartness as it’s body and the brain of a Chinese fire-roasted duck. It’s just thing to slather all over fatty pork ribs. (more…)

Read More

Space Invaders – A Word on Himalayan Blackberries

bb1Here in Beautiful British Columbia we get a lot of immigrants from all over the world. Sure it’s Canada, the “melting pot” and all that, but here in BC it’s especially common to run into people, products and flavours from far off places. It’s one of the things that I love the most about the West coast. Sometimes though, adding some new spice into the pot can be disruptive. A brief story to illustrate:

Once upon a time an immigrant came to the Northwestern Coast of BC.  (more…)

Read More

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Salmonberry Compote

PannaCotta1We’re almost into our third week of June, and our Salmonberry bushes are still producing delicious edibles! But before I go out and brave the teddy bear’s picnic again, I’ve got a whole container full of berries in the fridge ready to cook with.

The rough, acidic salmonberries really pop with other foods that are creamy and mildly flavoured. The first thing I thought of was just pouring ‘em over vanilla ice cream… But as I nibbled on a couple more berries I remembered a well-worn recipe for yogurt panna cotta that might be a bit more sexy. I had paired it with candied lemon peel and green apples before… Delicate, sweet and sour. It would be easy to sub in the salmonberries with a little sugar and orange peel. Panna cotta it is!

Besides, I haven’t got an ice cream maker. (more…)

Read More