When berry season comes around, I'm one of those people you see at the farmers' market hauling flats of berries to the car. Not that it's a bad thing, but when you consider I'm also carrying several bags of produce along, too, it gets to be a bit precarious. But I just can't seem to resist the siren song of those luscious baskets of Hood strawberries, red raspberries, marionberries, blueberries and blackberries.
There's nothing like a great fruit crisp made from equal parts raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, or in the middle of January pulling bags out of the freezer and making smoothies, bringing back the warmth and sunshine of those fleeting summer months. Lately we've been incorporating the bounty of our region's berries into our own infused vodkas, mashing up the fruit in a bowl, maybe throwing an herb or two in with a bottle of vodka and letting it sit for a week or so in the fridge.
My friend Michel came up with a recipe for raspberry-lavender lemon drops using her own infused vodka, and we just made some with the first of the season's raspberries and inexpensive Monopolowa vodka. You can download the recipe and try it yourself at next weekend's barbecues. From the reaction we got serving the first batch to the neighbors, I guarantee you'll be the most popular person at the party.