When life starts blowing raspberries at you…

…get out your preserving pan!

A couple of the stalls at our local market are happy to give their “unfit for human consumption” greens away to local pet owners, and I’m a regular beneficiary of this bounty; my chickens eat “freegan” greens for 5 days out of 7, most weeks, and roadside dandelions or allotment weeds for the rest of the time. And once in a while, a little work with a sharp eye and a knife leaves something I’m happy to feed to my kids too; we had a very good stir-fry last weekend that only cost about £3 to feed seven people, thanks to a sack of sweetheart cabbages that weren’t nearly as grotty inside as their outer leaves suggested.

Anyway, today I was given a sack with a load of broccoli on top, some of it clearly still very palateable. I duly thanked them and started home, but something was drippping from the bottom of the sack – red juice. Beetroot, I thought. But when I got home & opened it up, there were hordes of cartons of squished raspberries; there were a few little flecks of mould and quite a few flecks of wandering broccoli, but when I’d sorted through I was left with 1.8Kg of squashy but useable raspberries. Jam time! Luckily I had plenty of sugar in. So out came my carefully-saved jamjars, and my big saucepan, and we now have 6½ jars of delicious homemade raspberry jam! Off now to make the scones, using kefir made with Freecycled grains and stainless steel scone cutters gleaned a couple of years ago from the tip. Time to start saving jars again, and it won’t matter quite so much that most of our homegrown raspberries never make it as far as the kitchen door…

Nearly-freegan Jam!
Nearly-freegan Jam!

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