Roaming over beautiful Cannock Chase.
With other families from our street.
Or my grandparents.
Stuffing our mouths with those luscious sweet-sour berries.
That taste so so so much better than shop bought.
In between games of hide and seek in the bracken.
Whilst the grown ups did the serious business of cramming blackberries into old ice cream tubs.
For blackberry pies. And blackberry crumbles. And blackberry jams.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
And even though we now live in London we still do lots of blackberrying every year.
It’s become a real tradition for my 7 year old and her best friend.
August wouldn’t be August for them without at least one blackberrying trip.
This year we’ve had quick sorties already into our local park and lovely Streatham Common.
And as soon as it stops raining – !!! – will hit the woods proper.
If you’ve not been blackberrying before – or not since you were a kid – here’s our quick tips.
- Take several small tubs – easier for kids to hold and get less squidged
- Choose open sites – far more likely to get wigglies under trees
- Avoid picking by busy roads because of pollution
- Only eat those higher than a dog’s wee!
- Pick lower ones to go in the tub for washing at home
- Take loads of water – for rinsing nettle stings (best treatment!) and bramble cuts
- Leave some for other people – and the birds
- When you get home put them in a big bowl of salty water
- Gently swill round with hands to get bits off and any little white wigglies out
- Repeat a couple of times until water clear, then rinse in a colander
And there you go.
You’re all ready to make blackberry smoothies, pies, tarts, puddings the lot.
If you do want to freeze your blackberries, put them in bags flat so they don’t all stick together. Once frozen, you can shake them all to the bottom of the bag.
I hope you have as much fun blackberrying as we do.