Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Which I Consume an Invasive Plant Species

Okay, so I actually got some pretty good food today--homemade Philly cheese steak, courtesy of my dad. Of course, I was too stupid to take a photo of it before I consumed it in a manner that can only be described as "voracious"; I was hungry, dammit! Oh well. There's some leftover steak filling in the fridge, so if I manage to get to it before my brother I'll attempt to re-create the deliciousness for lunch and photograph it.

After dinner, as is custom, I took my dog, Snoopy, out for his evening walk. And that's when I noticed them: Raspberries! Or more specifically, Rubus phoenicolasius, or wine raspberries, an introduced species native to China, Japan, and Korea and a bit different from your American red raspberries. According to, wine raspberries are listed in the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group as a Least Wanted plant and also as an Invasive Species. They are quite tasty, though.

There are quite a few patches of wine raspberry bushes around the more woodsy areas of my neighborhood. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered they were ripe, most of them had already been picked off by birds--those gluttonous birds! There were still some left, though, so stepping precariously into the brambles, wearing only flip-flops, I managed to collect a puny handful. As you might expect, not many made it to the cradle I formed out of my T-shirt--but man, were they tasty. Some people dislike raspberries and blackberries because they have lots of seeds, but personally I relish that crunchiness as each little juicy segment bursts in your mouth. My ankles got scratched up by the thorny underbrush. It was worth it, though.

See? Aren't they pretty?
They were all warm from my hands, so I popped them in the fridge to chill while I went and finally hemmed that white dress I've been working on since early July.

I was planning on making a tasty raspberry milkshake out of them, but darnit, we were out of ice cream. So no milkshake for me. Then I spotted the tubes of frozen Go-Gurt my mom stuck in the freezer for my baby sister.

For those of you unfamiliar with Go-Gurt, it's essentially Yoplait's attempt to appeal to the pre-teen set. Instead of boring old yogurt in a cup, you get exciting yogurt in a plastic tube. While I'm not a fan of merely chilled Go-Gurt--one wrong squeeze and you've got bubble-gum pink goop all over your hand--frozen, I actually find it quite tasty. Additionally, they are creamier when frozen than your average cup-yogurt, because there are so many chemical additives that they are little more than flavored plastic, no doubt, but ah well.

Strawberry Go-Gurt and wild raspberries. Yum.

I'm definitely going out there again in a couple days to see if any more are ripe.

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