Raspberry Coulis

Raspberry coulis is a fancy name for sweetened raspberry puree. It’s quite simple to make. You need around 4 cups of fresh mashed raspberries, a teaspoon of lemon juice and enough granulated sugar to sweeten. Mix it all together and heat over a low flame until it’s thick and sweet. Use a sieve to strain out the bitter pulp and seeds then store in a mason jar. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. It’s a perfect accompaniment for a variety of dishes, sweet and savoury. In my kitchen, on a humid Saturday night, it was to play duet with sweet (and sour) after a late dinner.

Praline and Cream ice cream wrapped in a soft tortilla smothered in a burnt pineapple sauce and topped with a button of white chocolate fudge lays in a dribbled circle of raspberry coulis. The heat of the day hanging in the air melts the flavours together. Plates empty on the counter beside the sieve that still holds the pulp and seeds. The prodigal son, without asking, spoons up a mouthful from the sieve. Bitter pulp and the grate of seeds twists his face. He leans over the sink to spit it out. Mouth gaping open dark red,  his expression of shock and surprize takes me back 13 years.

The same face, not all planes and angles but full and sweet. No mop of wild hair but dark blond baby curls, round belly full and peach kissed. He walks at 10 months, never wanting to sit still. The water in the tub is shallow. My hands are right there as I tell him to "sit down, sit down now" and he drops forward. Only two teeth in front but, sharp, they pierce through. The same gaping mouth spits out dark blood, the colour of raspberry coulis. The same expression of shock and surprize. He doesn’t cry though and to this day, he still doesn’t. He has never cried over a physical hurt but a harsh word can crush him.

A trip to the emergency room follows and the doctor says "Mom is in worse shape than baby". No stitches, the tongue is a muscle and will heal on its own. It does after a fashion; the end just on the other side of the bite splits, leaving a  Y shaped scar. Not even 2 months later it will be joined by another scar set firmly in the middle of the tongue…footsies in jammies don’t always mix with hard wood floors.

Just for a moment the sweet round mixes with the angles and planes. The eyes change from hazel to a golden green but they are still the same eyes. My stomach clenches in a despair so deep, words fail me. This love is so hard. It was so unexpected and so all encompassing. Like a leaf in a river the current carries me whether I will it or not.

He spits out the seeds and pulp, rinsing his mouth out with water. The moment has passed and in a day or so, for him, it will be like it never happened. He doesn’t know yet, maybe he never will. I hope not, but I know. I know that you can’t have the sweetness of raspberry coulis without the bitter pulp and the grit of seeds.

Oh, that you are my heart…


5 thoughts on “Raspberry Coulis

  1. Mother\’s daughter from another father, sweet sister- o- mine… pray tell me what brings you about so late at night? Mine is the role of vampyra while as a rule you\’re tucked snug in sweet repose. The length of my discourse should come as no surprise as I am my mother\’s daughter, tapdancing clown that she is (literally). Mmmm, bohemian none the less…a person that does not conform to accepted standards of behaviour…well okay I give you that one ;)You\’re so far away. Doesn\’t anybody stay in one place anymore? It would be so fine to see your face at my door…


  2. thanx for your commet and i was using windows movie maker this was one of my very first ones i only discovered it a couple days ago and i hadnt explored all the features yet in my other movies later on i discovered transitions


  3. This was beatiful and moving. The perfect analogy for love and pain of a child, raspberry coulis and bitter pulp. I loved how you tied the two together.The stoicism of some children in the throes of pain is amazing. My son is like that. Nine years old and a boys boy. But when I was forced to tell him that he\’d disappointment me by lying, you\’d of thought his entire world had come to a tragic end. I\’ve never seen that kid cry so hard.My wife came down and explained to me that it just about crushed him to discover that he\’d hurt me so. It was punishment enough. I spent the next hour sitting with him, assuring him that I\’d already forgiven him, that everyone (even moms and dads) make mistakes, but our love never, ever ends. Some we can be so tough, yet so fragile.


  4. PPIsn\’t it funny how children can break your heart without even trying. Your story brings me back to an earlier time when my son was younger. I had caught him lying about throwing out his lunch. I was being quite stern with him…food costs money, if you had just told me you didn\’t like it I would have made something different…when I noticed his eyes huge and glistening with the tears he was trying hard not to shed. This was the same boy who a week earlier had one of his front teeth kicked out while play fighting and had barely noticed (franky I\’ve seen lesser injuries fell grown men). I was utterly destroyed."If blood will flow when flesh and steel are oneDrying in the colour of the evening sunTomorrow\’s rain will wash the stains awayBut something in our minds will always stayPerhaps this final act was meantTo clinch a lifetime\’s argumentThat nothing comes from violence and nothing ever couldFor all those born beneath an angry starLest we forget how fragile we are"Gordon Matthew Sumner (Sting)


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