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Roadside Raspberries

Inspired by Kirstie Allsop’s latest series of how to furnish your home for free, I decided to explore other avenues from which you can enrich your life and lifestyle for free (the tale of the latest car/house disaster can wait for now).

I have long been a fan of a good summer fruit pudding. If you couple that with an aversion to paying full price for anything, especially soft fruits and a passion for picking things, then you can swiftly come to the conclusion that come August, I will most likely be found scurrying around a verge somewhere looking for various summer fruits.

I hate a summer where I don’t manage to acquire a huge haul of soft fruits for my freezer. To me it is a waste of a season!

The past few years of flat sharing have often left me with mediocre freezer space consisting of no more than 2 drawers, and those are filled with chips and mini milks. There was simply no room in my freezer, or my life, for soft fruit, as sad as that seems. I also managed to entirely miss the raspberry harvest through a minor timing faux pas where I elected to venture out in late August.

It is a very good idea to find yourself a good local reliable patch and then selfishly not tell too many people about it. Definitely don’t write a blog post and stick it on the Internet!

Since moving to the new house I had found myself in a slight tizzy about where I was going to get my soft fruit from for free now that I have four drawers of freezer space and no longer require a degree in Tetris to buy and fit in a reduced pork shoulder for the freezer.

As luck would have it, my cars, yes we have 3, are all broken. This has left me with only my bike for transport. I’m making attempts to be a generally more positive person, and the major plus I can take from my new form of transport, other than its minimal impact on the environment, the fact that I can eat a whole box of pringles after an 8 mile commute without guilt, is the discovery of a HUGE bank of raspberry canes just outside Dyce. I would tell you the road only I genuinely don’t know it, that’s not me being selfish, I just know its on the way to Bridge of Don, for you locals out there.

Honestly, I have never seen so many raspberries, and many of them look straight from the shelves of Tesco themselves! Some of them not so much…

ES and I are naturally very competitive so we weighed our respective hauls, ES quick to point out that he fastidiously checked every raspberry as it was selected whereas I just ‘slung in any old shite’.

ES’s haul:

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400g of top quality raspberries!

My haul:

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800g of raspberries, some of which may be suspect, but its nothing that a quick soak in some slightly salted water can’t cure!

That’s 1200g of raspberries, for those of you who struggled at maths, and when I thought to check how much that would have cost us to buy at Tesco it came out at a pricey £9!

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That’s if we just stick to the value ones, but you could argue that these are organic, provided you don’t mind the fumes of passing lorries.

These will be bagged up into 300g portions and stored in the freezer until the bramble festival begins.

I am already looking forward to a beautiful, cheap, summer fruit crumble and custard in late October, at the risk of sounding a tad pretentious!

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