Wednesday, July 20, 2011

camp raspberries

We went camping last weekend. Me, Yummy, and some old friends of hers.

We call it camping because there's a tent. But there's also a gravel pad, a bathroom, running water, a bunch of other "campers", and Camp David somewhere in the same wooded area. All in all a good place to flee to when the zombies come. Once a year we go to Cunningham Falls State Park and spend a weekend hanging around a fire, cooking things, and breathing smoke. Somehow we never quite make it to the hiking trails or these alleged falls.

This year we happened to show up when the raspberries were ripe. In the actual camp loop they were pretty absent, but walk off a little ways beyond the horseshoe pit and there's a healthy bush. Take a walk down to the overflow parking and it's solid berries almost the whole way up. After parking my car Yummy came back to camp with a large cup full. It pretty well shamed any of the other berry collections so far.

After breaking camp we decided to take some back roads home instead of just following the GPS. We quickly came to the historical monument that the road and town of Catoctin Furnace were named after. It's an old pig iron smelting establishment. Created iron cannons and cannon balls for the Revolutionary War and, allegedly, for the USS Monitor during the Civil War.

Now, if you go around behind the big chimney, furnace-ie thing there's a very steep dirt path that goes up to a clear grassy area. All along the clear grassy area there are raspberry bushes. Having already eaten all that she had in camp, we picked the bushes of the better stuff. There were signs that someone had been there just a day or two before and what we were getting had become ripe since then. We left a bunch that should be totally pickable by now.

While it seemed like we got a lot of raspberries pretty much all recipes I've found online require quite a bit more than we got. I'm not sure we could have gotten the quantities we needed even if I'd had long sleeves to go with my always present jeans, shoes, and socks. I waded into the thorns in a few places and got some good stuff, but I got scratches and histamine reactions to pay for it later. That's one job the Mexicans are welcome to.

Not finding anything terribly useful for the quantity that I have, I decided to just pour vodka over them. In a week or so I'll use it to flavor some ice tea and top some ice cream or something.

A few are being dried for seeds.

If you live in the general Maryland/DC/Baltimore area check out the bushes on top of the Catoctin Furnace. If nothing else you can get a few handfulls of seedy, juicy eating.

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