A generous gardener gave me two pails of raspberries a couple weeks ago, one red and one black (the raspberries, not the pails). The red ones got eaten pretty quickly, all by me because I'm the only one who likes raspberries up in here.*
The black raspberries were seedier, which is not a deal breaker for me, but they were languishing longer in the fridge until they looked like they didn't have much longer to languish.
Not wanting to see them go to waste, I threw them in a saucepan with a tiny bit of water and a tinier bit of sugar, maybe about a tablespoon. I simmered them for only about 5 or 10 minutes, just long enough for them to soften and break down into juice. Then I pressed the slurry through a fine-mesh strainer over a measuring cup until I had pressed out all the juice (look Ma, no seeds!).
This black raspberry juice or light syrup I popped back into the fridge. Then I'd add a splash of it (1-3 teaspoons) to my iced tea every day. It gave it just the right amount of flavor, a hint of sweetness, and a beautiful deep pink color. Yum!
This little shot glass full is all I have left.** The berries have stopped producing in the garden, so the next batch will probably come from the store, fresh or frozen.
*Do you think raspberries are like cilantro—you either love the flavor or hate it?
**The shot glass photo had me thinking of the communion glasses at my small-town Lutheran church growing up. Back in the day when we had real wine with communion, which I found out later was usually Mogen David donated by the tavern up the block (only in Wisconsin?). I felt a little gypped when I later joined the Presbyterians**** who serve only grape juice. I guess that's what a liberal Lutheran upbringing will do to you, if dancing, Boy/Girl Scouts, and Mogen David are okay!***
***In the words of Garrison Keillor: Lutherans believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never take themselves too seriously.
****You know you're a Lutheran if: Your Presbyterian friends can't understand why Garrison Keillor's News from Lake Wobegon is so much funnier for you. More jokes here, and they're mostly true!