It’s that time of the year again here in Ireland – blackberries are appearing in the brambles!
As a kid I used to spend ages on blackberry picking trips, filling sand buckets or any containers with as many as possible. On a recent trip we collected “a baby’s worth” of blackberries – over 8lb! It looks like there’ll be plenty more to come, too. A real sign that summer is coming to an end, blackberry picking always reminds me of Seamus Heaney’s poem;
Late August, given heavy rain and sun..For a full week, the blackberries would ripen…....You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered....Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s […]
So far, we’ve made a blackberry and apple crumble and.. lime green blackberry jelly.
Please feel free to share any memories you have of blackberry picking – or any recipe suggestions for the rest of our catch!