Yesterday, on one of the last days of summer we finally picked some blackberries on a walk on the South Downs, by Ditchling Beacon. We definitely were at the end of the crop as there were loads of blackberries that had seen better days. So next year, we need to go from the start of August! (I'm sure I say that every year)
Picking from nature has to be one of the nicest, most pleasing things. Last year my father in law picked a load of quinces and crab apples during his lunch hour, and my mother in law made delicious jellies from them. I find it incredible that you can even buy blackberries in the supermarket, surely they are something most people could pick for free?
I do remember picking a load when I was young with my parents and when my mum sorted them she found maggots in them so hey were binned, and I think that put her off picking them again!! Luckily my husband loves the outdoors and going brambling and whatever else he finds. He mentioned he rode past a dead rabbit today, and told me he was tempted to bring it home! We are vegetarian, and even though the rabbit was obviously road kill, I still wouldn't have touched it!
So after giving them a good soaking and getting rid of any nasties that shouldn't have come home with us, I had a request for apple and blackberry pie. I made that today after a lovely morning out with the children. A park about 30 mins walk away has just been redone, with loads of new equipment so we walked there (except it took nearly an hour as my eldest son ad his bike, but was pushing it as it was uphill! - He rode it all the way home, downhill!) We played there for just over an hour, we picked up some massive bramley apples from the greengrocer on the way home - plus a naughty treat of smarties and square crisps to keep us going! On the way home I couldn't keep up with my eldest as he zipped down the hill!
The apple and blackberry pie was well received. I've freezed the blackberries I didn't use, and I hope we can pick some more next weekend!