The advantage of a raspberry harvest is that, unless they have crampons and head for heights, the mice cannot get them. This is the state I have found myself in: measuring the worth of our summer fruits almost entirely by their ability to withstand nightly raids from mice. Because the mice are legion this year. And now they are strawberry connoisseurs too, more’s the pity.
Still, they haven’t sussed the summer fruiting raspberries and the pigeons seem too dim to spot them (or, more likely, too heavy to risk a landing on them) so we have an excellent crop. Previous years have been ‘okayish’, but, inexplicably, this summer there are bucket loads.
Many are eaten in the garden, straight from the bush. To my mind, this is best possible way to eat almost anything homegrown. It is a simple joy like no other to eat something so fresh, so fleeting, ripe today but gone tomorrow, as if it had been magicked into being from nowhere just for your pleasure at that precise moment.
Some do make it back to the kitchen. There’s plenty, but I’m reluctant to jam them, still so elated to have an abundance of fresh raspberries that it seems a waste to eat them anything but fresh. They are wonderful in desserts of course, but also a terrific option for breakfast – fragrant and fresh but not too sweet. I especially like them in overnight oats.
Now I realise, at this point regulars will raise any eybrow. Overnight oats? Bit faddy, isn’t it? They will then look down at the recipe ingredients and see ‘oat milk’ and ‘chia seeds’ and wonder if the blog has been hijacked by an Insta-famous, gym bunny flogging a(nother) vegan cookbook. But no, it’s still me. Stay with me on this one. It’s just Bircher muesli, really. And the oat milk adds to the oaty flavour whilst bringing a slight sweetness the removes the need for sugar. And yes, the chia seeds are a departure for me, but I like the texture they add when soaked; it’s a tapioca-y bite that’s quite unique. So set aside your cynicism as I did mine, and I promise you a lovely breakfast tomorrow.