London, Out and About, The Kidlets

Brambling: Not for the Arachnaphobe

The blackerries in our nearby Woodland grow like a weed (much to our delight) and this year we’ve been eagerly checking in on them as we wander past every couple of days.  I’ve thought they were “ready for picking” a few times, plump and black and calling to me from the path below.  Unfortunately our taste tester (Master 7) likes them bitter and tart and before realising this we had a few false starts trundling down with our plastic bags in tow, only to discover there wasn’t a sweet berry among them (doh).

After a quick check late Saturday we knew they were good to go and on Sunday we donned our long pants and long sleeved shirts with our plastic bags in hand and headed to the woodland.

Brambling Tip: If you’re short, it’s important to have someone bigger than you to stomp a path through to the best berries.  Alternately you could qualm the greedy guts within and not try and fill an entire large stock pot with blackberries (but dude! there are pies to be made, jam to be licked delicately from ones fingers and more importantly..they’re FREE).

Wild BlackberriesI like to think of my scratched hands and stained fingers as badges of honour.  We laboured hard, sacrificed our flesh and put the pre wash stain remover to good use that night, all for the love of blackberries (and free stuff).

brambling in London

Brambling for BlackberriesA word of warning to those who are a little squeamish about teensy tiny spiders:  If you are indeed touching and picking blackberries you are also touching spiders.  Itsy bitsy ones that are masters of disguise and quite happy to explore your living room/kitchen when you get them home.  You may just discover these little guys making a run for it out of your pot and onto your table cloth or kitchen bench and you might just let out one of those under-your-breath squeals.

spider in a pot full of wild blackberries
He’s hard to spot but right beside the blackberries on the side of the pot there is one of the larger spiders we smuggled home

  brambling for wild blackberries

After a good soaking (30 minutes to an hour) those spiders were goners and we were ready for the pie making to begin!

I couldn’t decide which kind of pie to make, so I made both.  A Blackberry Pie and an Apple and Blackberry Pie.  I also made some blackberry jam which I’d love to say turned out brilliantly but alas jam making is not my forte and I boiled it too long.  It’s yummy but not at all spreadable (oops!).

Apple and Blackberry PieRecipe to come for the Apple and Blackberry Pie (yum!)

Blackberry PieThe Blackberry Pie didn’t go down so well with the boys so I’m umming and ahing over whether to bother posting the recipe for that one.

All in all I love our new annual family tradition of picking blackberries together (especially the pie part).  Free family fun and I think an important lesson to kids about our food not just magically appearing on the supermarket shelf but taking labour and hard work.

* We picked wild blackberries for the first time last year, here’s that post.

6 thoughts on “Brambling: Not for the Arachnaphobe”

  1. OMG, that beautiful Red Hair!!!
    I love that you made both pies.( you are a domestic goddess) put me to shame.
    ohhhhhhhhh, the Black Berry I would devour RIGHT NOW. Can I have a slice?
    —Excellent Post. xxX


  2. Sadly I think the blackberry looked better than it tasted (tragic when that happens)…very unlike me, normally my presentation is awful but the taste makes up for it.

    I think his red hair is beautiful too 🙂 He likes it at the moment though I suspect he’ll curse it and his freckles when he’s a teen!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


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