It all began with boredom. It was a sweltering August day, and my younger brother, Ciaran, and I couldn’t agree on what to do.
“We could play Go Fish,” Ciaran suggested.
I shook my head. “No.”
Okay,” Ciaran fidgeted a little, trying to think. “How about—”
“I could read to you,” I interjected.
Ciaran sighed. “C’mon, Evelyn, it’s summer. School doesn’t start for two weeks. How about—”
Once again, I interrupted: “We can pick raspberries and make a raspberry smoothie.”
On the side of our house, there is a colossal, overgrown raspberry bush that produces many raspberries from about May up until mid-October, when the weather turns cold. One of my favorite summer activities is picking raspberries and then eating them. But it was a small spark of genius that it might be fun to try to make raspberries into a smoothie. After all, we had a blender—though I had never used it before.
Ciaran smiled and agreed with me. “Let’s do it.”
And after grabbing a couple of bowls and calling, “Mom, going outside to pick raspberries!”, we were on our way.
When we pick raspberries, it isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. It just so happens that the bush is west of the house, and that at 3:00 in the afternoon, the scorching sun is in the west, too, and it decides to roast your back. It doesn’t help that the bush produces raspberries as well as thorns.
The thought of getting a cool smoothie at the end of all of this kept me going, and at least it was only 90°. As soon as we filled three bowls with raspberries, we went inside, dumped the raspberries in a strainer, and washed them.
As we did, Mom came into the kitchen. “Hi,” she greeted us. “What are you doing with the raspberries?”
“Making a smoothie,” Ciaran replied as I set down the strainer and searched in the cupboard for the blender.
“You’ve never made one before,” she said. “Do you need help?”
I shook my head. “We’re good. This was our idea, after all.”
“Okay,” she said and left.
As we dumped the raspberries from the strainer to the blender, we couldn’t help but be excited. We had never made anything with raspberries, and now we were making a smoothie. “Moment of truth,” I told Ciaran as I plugged the blender into an outlet and switched it ON.
The blender began to whirr, and the raspberries began to spin. It looked pretty good, actually, in the minute before raspberry smoothie bits began spewing out the top and onto the counter that had just been cleaned.
“No, no, no!” I fretted. To Ciaran, who was closer to the blender, I said, “Switch it off!”
“I can’t do that without—” Ciaran began, reaching for the switch. Before he could, mushed raspberry bits sprayed him in the cheek.
“Who cares?” I snapped at him. “You can wash your face after!”
A few raspberry bits in the face later, Ciaran flipped the switch and it was off. I reached for a towel so that I could cover the top of the blender. A few minutes later, after we drank our smoothies, Mom came into the kitchen.
“How did it go?” she asked. I smiled. “Perfect. Just perfect.”
Now picking raspberries and making smoothies out of them is one of our favorite summer activities. Of course, we put a rag over the top now so that raspberry bits stay in the blender. But if I were to choose, I wouldn’t put a rag over the blender, just for the fun of it.
1 cup (200g) fresh raspberries
1 Mandarin orange, peeled
2 ice cubes
Put all ingredients in a blender and switch it to high. Blend until thick and smooth.
Note: If your blender is over-reactive, make sure to screw the top on tight and put a towel over the top, just in case!