Blackberry foraging

ImageMost afternoons I am hankering to get out of the house, especially on the weekends.  Nic understands this as I have never been one to sit around on the couch relaxing; I seem to have an inability to rest, relax and chill out on a regular basis which can be good and bad depending on who you’re talking too. The boys think it is outrageous that I suggest afternoon strolls in the countryside, what a horrible mother I am!

Every time I go for a run I pass bushes and bushes of blackberries, and the boys are quite fascinated with all the wild berries growing along the side of the road. Nic tells them not to pick them off the bushes and just eat them (they could be sprayed or a dog could of sprayed wee on them- this I would actually like to see as the dog would have to be in a pretty precarious position to even attempt getting close to the blackberries that are at least a meter off the ground…..but hey, thats just me!)

I, on the other hand say pick away, I have always thought that if any fruit is hanging over on public ground then it is free to all who walk past. Our Greek neighbour when I was growing up in the NT did not agree with this train of thought and was always shouting at us kids for picking his guava when plump and bursting with ripeness (I guess that was one of the downfalls of living next to a park where all the local kids used to play). Personally I think he loved us picking them just so he could have something to carry on about….it still makes me smile.

There was a lovely breeze yesterday afternoon and we’d played at least 10 games of Uno so I suggested we go foraging for blackberries to stretch our legs and get outside for a while. NO was the first reaction from the boys, followed closely by slumping the shoulders forward, dropping the bottom lip and commencing to carry on a treat about leaving the house. Blah,blah,blah. I knew they would actually enjoy it once we started picking so I told them to put a cork in it, get their shoes on and get out the door! I don’t think Alex really minds getting out and about, but when his brother puts on such a performance I think he feels a little compelled to join in!

With Max storming ahead we started looking at potential pickings. We haven’t had much rain and the sun has been intense so a lot of the blackberries were dried out and shrivelled, which is sad. We walked on a little more to the spot I had in mind and we were in luck. Max even started to pick a few and I’d even go as far as seeing a smile creep onto his face when he came across a good branch.

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Alex on the other hand was super-excited and wanted to pick every one he saw, I like the enthusiasm; however, after explaining the difference in taste between the red ones and black ones he soon started looking for the big fat black ones. I get a little excited when I start picking and can’t stand it when I see a bunch of juicy blackberries just a few inches out of reach. I’ll get on the tips of my toes to go that extra mile and usually ending up with nothing but thorns in my legs and hands.

Blackberrys   I was hoping for 6 cups of blackberries as I could make a blackberry pie, just like the one I was reading about in my Saveur magazine, however, we only ended up with a cup and a half. Not to worry, I got the boys out of the house, managed to get Max to spend some family time with us and lose the scowl. Plus we had yummy, fresh blackberries to eat with our gelato — what’s there to hate about that?

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19 thoughts on “Blackberry foraging

  1. We used to have a mulberry tree off the back verandah in Brisbane and they looked just like that on the few occasions we managed to beat the possums to it. Never got anywhere near six cups…

  2. Well now I’m glad we don’t have a dog since we had a huge raspberry bush that produced multitudes of berries this year. Pretty sure I washed them all before eating, but the thought never crossed my mind that an animal could have “wazzed” (Ethan’s current favorite word) on them. Okay, so now in our garden we have tons of tomatoes and I want to make spaghetti sauce, but I am clueless. Help! Peel the tomatoes? Take out the seeds? Or can I just throw them into the food processor and be done with it?

    • Ok Amy what I would do is peel the skin off (sauce will be smoother and slightly less bitter) then cook it with a really good slosh of olive oil, diced onion and garlic. Bring it to the boil, add a good 2 teaspoons salt and one of pepper plus about 3 tablespoons of a red or white vinegar…..or lemon ( tomatoes work best with an acid added in) then simmer for about 30min on low. It will be worth it in the long run.
      Once you have peeled the tomatoes just give them a quick whizz in food processor. Good luck!

  3. I love gathering the bounties of nature (even if it’s pine cones for the fire!). Blackberries are so good. Sounds like you should have gone earlier and maybe got more. We used to pick them at Mirboo Nth. Nic won’t remember, only a baby. Good on you Alex and Max, pays to try things!!

  4. Brava. Nothing like eating the fruits of your own endeavours! You could make a great blackberry and apple crumble as you only need a handful of blackberries for the colour and a little flavour.

  5. We went blackberry picking yesterday too!! But ours was at a PYO farm. Lovely though, we have made a blackberry tart this morning and yesterday Paul started the long process of making blackberry and raspberry flavoured vodka! Say Hi to Mel from me!

  6. Actually that is not where the blog name comes from🙂 My husband’s and so this way also the boys’ family name is Blackberry (well only in hungarian ofcourse). So that is why they are the Blackberry Boys.

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