Better Red (raspberries) than dead. – anthonymrugacz.com★ចំរើន

Better Red (raspberries) than dead.

Not far from where the Cuyhoga River caught on fire is a Rosby’s Raspberry Farm. Anyone dressing up as a piece of fruit this year for their halloween costume?

Buried Treasure sign at Rosby's raspberry farm.
“Berried Treasure” – I love this place already.

So let’s make a delicious raspberry alcoholic drink. From farm to table and then a good year’s wait1, is what it takes to make “nalewka malinowa” in a homegrown Cleveland style. First let’s talk about Northeast Ohio raspberries, the crop gets ripe in September but hey it’s still summer, and the harvest continues until October. So there’s plenty of fruit to harvest for pies and booze. 

 

 

 

Nalewka, (by the way the w is pronounced a v ) it’s a Slavic traditional drink made from infusing vodka and/or strong spirits. The difference between liqueurs and this  beverage is that nalewka is aged as one will learn in the rest of this post. So let’s go raspberry picking shall we?

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Rosby's farm business sign.
“This land is the land of ours, this river runs red over it”- REM

Best darn berry farm in Cleveland has to be Rosby’s. Ha ha ha- probably the only berry farm in Cleveland. It’s a pick your own so I headed out with the Boss (my mom) on a pleasant overcast early September morning. It is only a few miles south of downtown nestled in the Cuyahoga Valley the current home empty steel mill yards and the burning river2 that used to be the filthy heart of the city.

 

 

 

 

Treasure map for berried treasure.
Every kid’s dream – a berried treasure map.

Easy as pie to pick berries as Rosby’s is a friendly place, just walk in past  the kid’s theater and smile. They hand you baskets, give you a map with your location and off you go. They asked us if we wanted near or far, my mom said far forgetting about her 83 year old knees. Honestly, I view life here in America so much different than 50 years ago growing up with apple pie, baseball, and fast cars. Something caught my eye that made me laugh. 

 

 

American Children’s Indoctrination Center for Young Minds.

In front of Crosby’s main building there is a space between it and the parking lot. And there it was in all it’s glory a little children’s theater with real hay bale benches. Looks like a happy little place for story telling and taking pictures with your head in a berry on the body of a farmer. But nay, this isn’t what I saw it as- looked more like a “Counter-revolutionary Capitalist Indoctrination Center for Young Minds” on how to be a good consumer. Enough political theory, let’s march out to the fields comrades!

 

OK, here’s the Magic Red Raspberry Slideshow.

8 pictures ~ 32 seconds runtime and more text and photos below

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3 quarts of magic raspberries.

It took over an hour and half, probably because I kept eating the berries as I picked them. Eventually we each picked 3 quarts- mom is making pies and I am making nalewka. So let’s get in on and start making the nalewka malinova.

So here’s my recipe; half jar of washed berries, 1 cup sugar, fill with 190 proof alcohol, put it in a cool dark place for one year. Strain and enjoy. This year I made 2 flavor variations adding a teaspoon of dried Cambodian peppercorns, one red and one black to the jars. And of course another magic slideshow showing the painstaking difficult task of making nalewka malinowa. 

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Burn on

 

 

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Notes.

 

 

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1 One only has to wait 365 days before the nalewka is ready to drink. That is much easier than waiting for the Cleveland Browns to win a football game.

2 Burn On Randy Newman

There’s a red moon rising
On the Cuyahoga River
Rolling into Cleveland to the lake
There’s a red moon rising
On the Cuyahoga River
Rolling into Cleveland to the lake
There’s an oil barge winding
Down the Cuyahoga River
Rolling into Cleveland to the lake
There’s an oil barge winding
Down the Cuyahoga River
Rolling into Cleveland to the lake
Cleveland city of light city of magic
Cleveland city of light you’re calling me
Cleveland, even now I can remember
Cause the Cuyahoga River
Goes smokin’ through my dreams
Burn on,

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