Sep 12 2021

The Highway Apples

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:11

I like fruits. I know most people say that fruits are bad because they contain sugars and such and that a good lifestyle should actually include a lot of vegetables, less fruits and less meat, but it is what it is. My brains know what it wants, and my brains wants fruits.

I grew up in Romania in a time when there were more trees than cars on our streets and most of them were trees that produced some kind of fruit, because those are the best trees. Also, my parents used to discard me and my sister at my grandparent’s houses for summer vacations up until I was 12. They lived in an awesome village untouched by technology and pollution at the time. And then they moved to one of those villages. So, I grew up surrounded by trees that produce things you could it… also called fruits.
After I left my parents’ nest, I always happen to live somewhere close to a place where there was some sort of tree that produced something eatable. This is valid for Scotland as well, although random unknown fruit trees are not so easy to find as in Romania. However, I know a few in almost every town along the Fife coast all discovered while cycling.

A while ago when I went to St. Andrews I also noticed one apple tree along the street going out of Kirkcaldy. It was all alone, a few meters after the Kirkcaldy exit sign, next to a wheat field, full of ripe apples that were falling on the highway. All its hard work for the year, just going unappreciated and squashed under the cars on the highway. So, the previous Sunday, I did something about it. I hopped on my bike and went and find it. It was difficult to reach, I had to get down from my bike and walk between the highway and a barbed wire fence on a strip of grassy land max 1 meter wide, but I made it. And it was worth it. Going back was no fun either, since I had about 3 kilograms of apples to carry and balancing the bike was a pain. To go back I took a shortcut through a forest and my heart jumped a few times because my bike is not made for off-road rides, and the extra weight was obviously not making my endeavour easier.

I made it home and let me tell you, the effort was worth it. The best part about wild fruits and fruits growing in trees that nobody cares for is that they taste exactly as nature intended. There are no pesticides, nor other chemicals involved in stimulating the tree to produce or quicken the process of fruits getting ripe. There is no extra water added to make them bigger, so they can be sold for more. The fruits end up just how nature indented it, they have different shapes and colours, and they are overall perfect to me. It baffles me how people in Scotland pass by apple, cherry trees, blackberry and raspberry plants without even tasting one. I am currently designing my bike routes based on the seasonal harvests. :D

Anyway, the apples that I picked from the side of A915 might give me more satisfaction because of all the work required to get them, I did have to climb a tree to get them, and I had to fight a few wasps over them. Wasps are dicks, so I was happy to do it. Also, there rarely is any better food than free food.

I washed them, cleaned those that were bruised and put the slices in the freezer. The rest of them: half I’ve kept them in the fridge for consumption and half, I turned them into a cake I invented. I will share the recipe and pictures in a future entry. :)

[Later edit]: I was told my apples are actually bad because of all the pollution next to the highway. Well, nature is not a closed system; dust and CO2 are everywhere, but trees are quite good at filtering pollution and turning it into something useful, like those lovely apples that I’ve been eating for the last week. Never has pollution tasted that good! Also, A915 its not a highway, just a national road, but calling them national road apples did not sound as good as highway apples. :))

Stay safe, stay happy!

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