Pick­ing Black­ber­ries

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3 the spoils

A little while ago I went to visit my pál Erika (sorry, can’t resist the terrible pun) in Surrey for black­berry pick­ing. Her friends Stephanie and Katja came down too, and we went out on a sunny day into the woods and picked some berries and had a picnic and drinks (for N. Amer­ic­an read­ers, Brit­ish woods aren’t very wild). Black­ber­ries grow every­where here at the end of August and most of Septem­ber. They don’t belong to anyone, and it’s safe and legal to pick and eat them. I used to pick huge amounts of them when I was grow­ing up. They’re also good for jam, pies, crumbles, coulis and wine-making. We made jam this time. Foxes also like them as much as humans.

1 picking

Pick­ing the fruit from the brambles. Beware of the spikes.

2 behold the blood of the fruit

The blood of a thou­sand black­ber­ries on my hands.

3 the spoils

Part of the spoils. When they got home we soaked them in boil­ing water to remove any lurk­ing insects.

4 wandering in the woods

Wander­ing in the woods.

5 sterilising

Ster­il­ising the jars.

6 behold the jar

A precise scientif­ic enter­prise.

7 mixing

Mixing the fruit and the preserving sugar.

8 simmering

Simmer­ing the jam while crush­ing the fruit.

9 canning

Canning the results.

Erika’s part­ner makes fant­ast­ic home-made ice cream, and I totally forgot to have any while I was there. A terrible regret.

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