Last weekend after hanging out beside Greenland Dock (us reading our respective novels and the boys fighting with their light sabers) we wandered back toward home via the woodland behind our house. We spotted two men crouching down taking a closer look in the mess of overgrown bushes and popping something in their mouth. Naturally as they got up and left we went for a sticky beak. Lo and behold the weedy overgrown bushes contained blackberries!
I had it knocked into me as a child (no idea who taught me…probably the telly) to never EVER eat berries from a bush because they could very well be poisonous. In fact being that I’m a crazy lady who thinks up weird contingency plans for events such as being thrown back in time and having to fend for myself, having an axe murderer enter my home and having to fend them off, being stranded somewhere obscure with only my natural environment for food and water and so on and so forth. I know to check out what the birds are eating because it is most probably safe, I even found a website with info on how to check a plant for toxicity without killing yourself (long and tedious process).
Anywho! Those strange men were eating the berries and they’re presumably much wiser then a pigeon (…meh) so we had a taste and they were delicious. I can’t believe we’ve been walking past them for all this time and never realised what they were.
This weekend we sent Alex out with his friend to collect blackberries. The boys were gone for over an hour and had a fair few berries to show for their efforts. There weren’t quite enough for a pie though so we decided to get off our butt’s and go back with them.
Getting to the berries became a tad easier with Daddy stomping a path through the bushes with his big boots. Poor James copped a few sharp bits to the face (it sucks being short…even at 26).
In the end we came home with enough blackberries to fill a 500mL jug and after a bit of googling about preparing wild blackberries I found a very useful article on blackberries and brambling. Fortunately none of our blackberries were maggoty nor did we notice ingesting any spiders whilst picking them (pfft, English spiders are such freaking wimpy things anyways I’m not too worried). I gave them a good wash when we got home and naturally needed to taste test a few of them (just incase).
We didn’t have quite enough berries to make a blackberry pie so I decided to bake an apple and blackberry pie instead. We had only two cooking apples (granny smiths) so I used 3 x Jazz apples to bulk it out a little more.
This was my first attempt at cooking a pie (unless you count Shepherd’s Pie which is a household staple). I don’t have a pie dish (used a cake tin instead) and I didn’t have quite enough pastry so it didn’t look quite as perfect and pretty as I’d have liked but the taste certainly made up for it!
The recipe I used (super easy and very tasty) is here.
For our latest Brambling Adventures check out our 2011 post here.