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Mmm…Pie…

The massive raspberry bush that towers over our garden started out innocently enough.  A friend had bought a house with an overabundance of landscaping, and he was looking to simplify by getting rid of a few of the yard’s many beds.  Bill and I went over to take a look, and returned home with a rose bush, some blanket flowers and a chunk of a raspberry plant.  The cheery red and yellow blanket flowers found a new home in our front flower bed, the rose bush went next to the house, and we transplanted the raspberry plant in a corner of our vegetable garden.

The rose bush bit the dust not long after we adopted it, but the blanket flowers are still going strong.  And to say that the raspberry bush thrived is an understatement.  If we had not taken preventative measures, it would cover our entire garden by now.  The plant sends out little creeping runners, which if left unchecked, will develop into  new canes.  As our garden is not very large, and we were tiring of constantly weeding mini raspberry canes, we came up with a plan:  We would install a barrier to keep the plant corralled within its allotted garden plot.  After looking at different options, we settled on 12″ metal flashing.  We figured in a few minutes we could dig around the perimeter of the raspberry bush, install the flashing, and voila–instant raspberry fence.

What we failed to remember was that when we moved into the house six years ago, a large tree stood only a couple of feet from the raspberry bush’s current home.  And trees have roots.  Which are very thick near the base of the tree.  So, installing the flashing became a chore that took several hours and quite a bit of sweating, sawing and swearing.

Our tricky raspberry bush still sneaks some runners under the flashing on occasion just to keep us on our toes, but they are not nearly as invasive as they used to be.  The now-restrained 4′ – 6′ raspberry canes produce a beautiful abundant crop of plump red berries each July that we use in many recipes, including the mouth-watering pie, below.  The recipe is extremely simple if you buy pre-made frozen pie crust, but if you want to make your own–hey, knock yourself out.  A slice of this juicy, slightly tart pie with vanilla bean ice cream is a heavenly combination. However, since I made the pie up north at our cottage this week with groceries and ingredients transported in a cooler, we were sans ice cream this time.  Oh well.  Guess I’ll have to make it again!

NOTE:  The first time I made this recipe exactly as written, and it was very soupy.  This time I added about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and it was just right.  Also, in the oven I was using,  I had to bake it about 10 minutes longer than instructed.

RASPBERRY PIE

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/raspberry-pie-ii/detail.aspx

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About Grow.Pick.Eat

My husband Bill and I started our first garden in 2006, after tearing down an old rusty shed in our suburban-Detroit backyard. Rather than plant grass in the bare spot that was left, we mixed some organic nutrients into the clay soil, laboriously chopped up the roots of a long-dead tree, and created a garden made up of four beds. We found multi-colored concrete blocks buried randomly around our backyard, so we used those to create footpaths between the beds. Each year since then, we've organically grown a variety of veggies and berries. We've expanded the edible garden to two additional beds: one next to our garage, and one along the side of our house. As we reap our bounty each year, we like to experiment with new recipes that we find or create, and of course, re-make our favorites. We are not experts in gardening or cooking; we are merely teachers with a summertime hobby, and we like to share our stories, recipes and excess zucchini. Take what you'd like from this site, and have fun with it! --Julie

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