Late-Afternoon Raspberry Picking (and a Beet-Pomegranate Salad)

My self-improvement projects are well underway. I've been cultivating thanks, not-sweating the small stuff, and managing stress fairly well. But then, last Saturday morning, all hell broke loose.
Theodore, who usually only wakes up once or twice on a typical night, had been crying on-and-off for 10 hours. By the time Otis woke up, I had slept less than 4 I'll blame exhaustion on what happened next. Theo required a diaper change and somehow, I don't know how, I took off his soaked diaper and then buttoned up his onesie. Um, yeah. I forgot to put on a clean diaper. I drifted back to sleep and left Theo and Otis playing together in the room next to mine. I'll spare you all the details, but let's just say that about 30 minutes later I smelled something pretty awful, Otis was screaming "poop!poop!" and I woke up to a royal mess. It was really bad. That's all I'll say about that...
I rushed the baby to the bathroom, stripped him down and drew him a bath. I flipped on the light switch, but it was still dark. I assumed the bulbs had just gone out in the bathroom, but I soon discovered we lost power throughout the house. The system-wide failure became apparent when I rushed the dirty clothes and linens down to the washing machine. Nothing worked. No lights, no machines. 
That didn't stop me from attempting to brew some fresh coffee. Uh-huh. I filled the grinder with a few tablespoons of whole beans, forgetting that no electric power means no grinder, and therefore, no coffee. 
I must have been on Pluto because then I proceeded to crack a few eggs and put them in the frying pan-- figuring I could at least top them with some salsa verde and have a decent breakfast. But we've got an electric stove (which I am not getting used to). No eggs for us.
So I threw a bunch of cheerios in a tupperware cup, sliced some cantaloupe and raced upstairs to get everyone dressed. Did I mention that we were heading to the park for Otis's early morning soccer class? 
As if this day couldn't get worse, Omar (our beloved elderly-incontinent Rottweiler) went to the bathroom on the main floor. It was one mess after the other. 
I was just about to loose my mind when the fire alarm starting chirping. Maybe it was trying to come back online. I don't know. I'm not an expert on these sorts of things. 
The boys were out of earshot and I cursed away. Mostly four-letter words that begin with 'f'-- and at a very loud volume. Swearing can really help your mental state in a time of crisis! 
Anyway, the minutes were ticking by. I got the kids. Loaded up the car. And left the house. 
Miraculously, we got to soccer practice on time. 
Things were looking up.
I drank some coffee. Yup, things were getting much better.
Then I ate a delicious tamale at the farmers market. 
And some pastry too. Some food for the kids.
We were sated.
Things were going to be just fine.
I put Otis and Theo down for an early nap and when everyone woke up, I decided we should take a little trip to Boulder.
We visited Hoot N Howl, a fantastic farm with a great stand and pick-your-own berries.
The day started off rocky, but it ended with me and my sons...picking fruit and being thankful that we could...and knowing that life's mishaps make for funny stories later. We survived. Here are some photos from our late-afternoon adventure.

In addition to the berries, we also picked up some gorgeous apples (for this apple muffin and butternut squash soup combination, courtesy of Cannelle et Vanille), tomatoes, basil and purple potatoes. There were pumpkins too and I saw some beautiful looking eggplants that I'll have to get next time. 
We didn't pick too many raspberries, but I knew we had enough for this coulis, which pairs well with this cheesecake. Of course, I could have pureed them into a seasonal cocktail too. But then I happened to stumble upon this Bon Appetit photo (below) for Lemon Creme Brรปlรฉe with Fresh Raspberries. My search was over. That'll do! 
Photo Credit: Tina Rupp, Bon Appetit
Earlier in the day I picked up some beets at our local farmers market. I also nabbed a whole lot of pomegranates at the supermarket. I love the combination of beets and pomegranates and found this salad (below) after doing a google search. It was the first recipe to come up, and it sounded delicious. I've made it three times and it is fast becoming one of my favorite seasonal starters. (Now this is not the best picture I've ever taken, but it's one delicious salad!)

Beet and Pomegranate Salad (Adapted slightly from the LA Times)
Servings: 6
Note: Adapted from "The Book of New Israeli Food" by Janna Gur. 
Pomegranate concentrate or molasses is available at cooking supply stores and Middle Eastern markets.
3 to 4 medium beets
2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate or molasses
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 to 3 small, dried red chile peppers, crushed
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup pomegranate seeds (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup lightly flavored olive oil
1. Cook the beets in a covered medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into very small dice. Place in a medium bowl. 
(I adapted the recipe. Instead of boiling the beets, I roasted them. First I washed and trimmed them. Then I placed them in foil, drizzled them with olive oil, and sprinkled them with some kosher salt and black pepper. I sealed the foil, cooked them for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (until you can put a knife through them) at 400 degrees, and allowed them to cool before peeling and dicing them.)
2. Add the pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, peppers, one-eighth teaspoon sea salt, or to taste, and combine. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
3. Toss the beets with the cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

* * *
I went a little overboard with my pomegranate purchasing (I really bought a lot!), so I made this  Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Salted Yogurt (from Melissa Clark's, Cook This Now) with my leftover pomegranates seeds. You can find an adapted version by Smitten Kitchen here.
Happy cooking! xo